>> Friday, January 1, 2010
I'm so thrilled today. It's the first time I prepare a recipe by Jamie Oliver... wow, my first time. This recipe can be found in the book Cook with Jamie which I bought last summer while on vacation at Santiago de Compostela. So cook with Jamie if you dare. I admit Mr. Oliver had never really caught my attention before, except for branding him as a bit... dirty: dear Jamie, how can you mix the salads with your hands? But then I started to read the book, which by the way has the loveliest food photography and well, all I can say is... now I'm a believer, not a trace of doubt in my mind.
I've found this dish delicious, how can not be a mixture of shellfish and butter? The only drawback is that it's somewhat time consuming, as you need to pick all the meat inside the crabs. But it's worth the effort. According to Jamie this was a traditional British way of short-term preservation, used not only with shellfish, but with meat too. It lasts around one week in the fridge.
This recipe is easier and shorter to prepare if you buy a crab that's already boiled. I used an Irish crab, which weighed more or less half the weight required in Jamie's recipe. In fact it was a female crab that was full of roe, poor thing. Thanks to that I could gather all the brown crab meat required in the recipe (well, I mean, half of it).
Jamie Oliver's potted crab (adapted)
Let the butter soften at ambient temperature. Boil the crab, in case you've bought it uncooked, and let it cool. Then pick all the meat in the crab... be patient. Put the brown meat/roe that's found inside the body of the crab aside from the white meat. Smash the chilli in a mortar and add half the softened butter, lemon juice and all the brown meat/roe. Then mix and smash everything together till you have a soft paste. Add the nutmeg, mix and then the white meat. Mix thoroughly and season well. Jamie recommends to try a small portion on a toast to adjust the seasoning. He advises to over-season the mixture because it's going to be served cold and the flavors are somewhat dimmed.
Find a beautiful pot to pot your crab and fill it with the mixture. Flatten the crab and smooth the surface with a spoon, then melt the remaining half butter, mix some fresh herb like dill, and pour it on the crab. Put it in the fridge to set and leave it overnight for the flavors to meld... delicious on a toast.