Mitch Tonks' Fresh Spaghetti with Crab, Chilli and Parsley
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. In a separate pan, add the olive oil and gently sweat the shallots and garlic. Add the chilli. On a gentle heat, stir in the crab meat and warm through. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and the parsley, season to taste and then toss with the cooked spaghetti.
1tbsp good olive oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
150g fresh brown crab meat
Juice of ½ lemon
50g fresh white crab meat
Handful of flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to season
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Valentine Warner's Potted Crab
I really enjoy breaking up crabs and fiddling out the meat, but it can be a little exhausting. So here I advise doing all the work first and enjoying the whole thing in one go later. Serves 4.
To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice in a high-sided bowl. Whizz with a stick blender while slowly dribbling in the oils together until you have a consistency that holds its own without being too rigidly stiff. Season to taste with the salt and finely ground black pepper, adding any extra lemon juice if needs be.
Turn the crab upside down on a board. Break off the little flaps (mandibles) from under the crab’s eyes. Snap off the claws. Break off the flap you lifted earlier. Taking a knife, slide the blade sideways between the narrow part of the red shell and the body at the back of the crab. Push the knife in and twist, then take the blade out and use the gap for leverage to prize the 2 parts in half. The part that connects the legs will have what appear to be feathers clinging to them. These are the dead man’s fingers. Pull them off and chuck them away. Inside the red shell you will see 2 little membranes that look like clingfilm. Peel them away and scoop out the brown meat from both corners into a bowl. Mash this with a fork to get it as smooth as you can. Discard the shell.
The rest is easy. Crack all the legs and claws individually with a hammer under cover of a tea-towel to avoid crab on the ceiling. Fiddle out all the meat, into the bowl containing the brown meat, taking special care not toget shell in the meats. Break up any larger pieces of crab meat. Lastly, use a knife to cut the remaining central body part into 4 and poke out the meat with a skewer. Be patient, as there is a lot hiding in there. Turn 3 tablespoons of the mayonnaise through the crab meat until well combined. Check the seasoning one last time. Transfer the crab to a bowl that is just the right size for the amount of crab. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan and, when it starts to bubble, skim off the little rising white islands of milk solids until clear. Grate in the nutmeg. Smooth the surface of the crab flat and compact before pouring the clarified butter over the top. Pop in the fridge until solidified. Serve with hot toast and cold white wine.
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