Fish on Friday, Fresh Figs and a Recipe for Potted Crab – Crab Rillettes
It’s been an exciting day, we have guests, three lovely girls arrived yesterday for a week’s holiday and they have settled in already, and even laid three eggs today……….yes, it’s not my daughter and her two friends (although they are lovely too) but my friend’s chickens, who have arrived for a residential holiday with my hens, whilst their human parents attend a wedding in the West Country…….the three feathered girls have settled in well and particularly like lounging under our fig tree, where they are to be found most times of the day, waiting with anticipation for ripe figs to drop!
And, the last day of my daughter and her friend’s holiday has been blessed with a sunny day…….so, sunbeds have been in use, and as we were all going out for dinner tonight, a light lunch was served in the garden, under the shade of the trees……it’s Friday, so it was a piscine pleasure that we enjoyed for luncheon today - Potted Crab (Crab Rillettes).
Now, this is not a traditional recipe, insofar that it’s not shredded crab meat, both white and brown, with butter and spices, (which I find to be very rich) but it is a quick cheat’s version and a VERY light potted crab recipe, as the crab meat is bound with a little mayonnaise and lemon juice, although there is nod to tradition with the addition of ground mace, as well as being sealed with clarified butter……it’s tangy (because of the creamed horseradish that is added) and has a little kick with a few cracked red peppercorns and sea salt, scattered over the top with a bay leaf…….an idea I stole from a friend who serves sea salt and cracked red peppercorns with foi gras at Christmas time. It also makes a lovely sandwich filling, and is NOTHING like the old potted crab meat sandwich fillings that we all may remember from years ago, those ones that come in tiny pots…..although, I have been known to like that style of “paste” on hot toast!
The little pots of crab are sealed with clarified butter, in order that is stays fresh longer, as well as an added extra when you come to spread this delectable spread on your toast or bread! So, how to clarify butter? This is how to do it, and I have used the BBC Good Food method, as it is the method I use all the time:
This is butter from which all milk solids has been removed. The result is a clear yellow fat that can be heated to a higher temperature than butter before burning. It is an excellent fat for pan-frying.
Put the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Melt gently. Skim off all the froth from the surface. You will then see a clear yellow layer on top of a milky layer.
Carefully pour the clear fat into a bowl or jug, leaving the milky residue in the pan. Discard the milky residue or add it to soups.
Since clarification removes impurities, clarified butter keeps well – several weeks in the fridge and longer in the freezer.
As a dip for seafood such as lobster and crab and for globe artichokes, as well as being used in Indian cooking and as a sealing ingredient for potted meat and fish.
My little pots of crab disappeared in a trice this lunch time - I served them with fresh baguette, a salad of rocket leaves with a lemon vinaigrette and then some fresh figs and cheese for dessert, French style! I hope you enjoy my Fish on Friday recipe for today, a simple and light recipe for fresh white crab meat, and perfect for lunch, sandwiches, supper or even high tea! Bye for now, see you later with baking recipes as well as breakfast recipes….Karen