There are two ingredients from natures larder that I would place at the top of my list when/if it came to deciding on my final meal.
Before popping my clogs, I’d savour every last mouthful too.
Before you get any ideas I’m shaking off this mortal coil any time soon- think again! But, I bet you’re intrigued as to what a food fanatic like me would choose eh?
No1- Would be brown Crab, without a shadow of doubt.
I grew up surrounded by water on the Isle of Wight, and have fond memories of picking over the odd cooked Crab with my grandparents as a ‘nipper’. Invariably, the odd piece of shell ended up in the meat, mostly due to the lack of skill exerted by the hammer wielder, but never enough to put me off.
Mixed with a dollop of mustard heavy mayonnaise, a few leaves of peppery watercress, and generously spread between doorstops of bloomer I’m totally in my element. Sold, done, dusted..
April is the month that these beauties from the deep become readily available, and the UK season runs until around November. Always try to buy them alive if possible, and cook them in rapidly boiling, heavily salted water for 15 minutes per kilo. Allow to cool, ideally on a window sill and then place in a fridge once cool enough to handle.
Preparing Crab is time consuming, and a tad fiddly, but very rewarding. Don’t waste a single scrap, with the exception of the gills or ‘dead mans fingers’. If you’re not a brown crab meat fan, stir the richly flavoured meat into risotto or scrambled eggs.
And don’t waste the shells either, you can make the most amazing Crab bisque with them and few other aromatic ingredients. A useful tip is to wrap them up in an old tea-towel and smash them to smithereens with a rolling-pin first!!
As for the dish I’ve created, I’ve kept things simple, delicious and quick to allow the flavour of the Crab to shine.
To feed one hungry, or two modest diners:
- 1 Cooked and picked brown Crab
- 4 Whole free range eggs
- 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce (light soy sauce would be fine)
- 2 Red birds eye chilli peppers, halved and seeds removed
- 1 Green long chilli pepper, finely sliced
- 1 Thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely shredded into strips
- 1 Cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 Banana shallot, peeled and finely sliced
- 1/2 a lime
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Freshly picked coriander leaves to garnish
- Place a wok or deep sided pan onto the heat and add thumbs depth of oil- keep an eye on it!
- Whip up the eggs, adding the fish sauce to season and the green chilli, set aside.
- When the oil has reached around 150 degrees, deep fry the ginger, shallot, and the red chillies separately until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Allow the heat to recover in the oil before pouring the egg mixture in from a height. This will create a good bubbly texture in the omelette.
- Flip the egg ‘raft’ over when the bottom is almost cooked through and continue to fry until thoroughly set.
- Remove from the oil and drain on a cake rack for a couple of minutes in a warm place.
- To execute the dish, scatter the Crab, garnishes and picked coriander leaves across the top and finish with coriander leaves.
- Scoff the lot whilst warm!!
I was so excited about devouring this dish, that by the time I’d completed it I literally inhaled it directly from the chopping board. Am I making this again? Too darn right.
Are you thinking what my No.2 would be?? I’ll give you a clue.. it’s fish.
Have a guess, go on…