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
Potted Crab – Crab Rillettes
|Prep time||1 hour, 15 minutes|
|Meal type||Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish, Starter|
|Misc||Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold|
|Occasion||Birthday Party, Casual Party, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Thanksgiving, Valentines day|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 250g crabmeat (white meat only)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon creamed horseradish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon mace
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper
- 50g to 75g clarified butter
- bay leaves
- crushed red peppercorns
- a little sea salt
A cheat's version of potted crab or crab rillettes; crab meat is bound in a light tangy sauce with spices and herbs, and then sealed with butter. Serve as a starter with salad garnish and toast, or as part of a light lunch with baguette and large mixed salad. Also makes a lovely sandwich filling. Fresh crab is best, but you can use frozen or tinned crab meat of necessary.
|Step 1||Place the crab meat, mayonnaise, horseradish, mace and lemon juice in a container, and mix with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste.|
|Step 2||Spoon the crab into 4 small pots or ramekins, and then pour half the hot clarified butter over the crab, add a bay leaf and some cracked red peppercorns and pour the rest of the butter over to seal it. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and chill for 1 hour before serving. (Can be kept in the fridge at this stage for up to 4 days)|
|Step 3||Serve with baguette, oat cakes, hot toast or crackers.|
THANKS Janice! It was lovely, so light and yet tangy! Karen
Jude A Trifle Rushed says
Lovely, we made delicious potted shrimp just before we left Brittany, so scrumptious, I’ll try your crab recipe next Easter. Jude x
Thanks Jude! I also make potted shrimps too….one of my favourite tea time recipes! Karen
rita cooks italian says
Fish on Friday is one of my favourite weekly post, lovely potted crab meat. Regarding clarified butter…no I do not use it.
Thanks Rita! I think you will probably use olive oil most times, but the Indians use Ghee (clarified butter) a lot in their recipes!
… just catching up on all your wonderful posts Karen… it’s been so hectic and I can think of nothing more wonderful than to come home to a pot of potted crab, I adore crab so these really are just perfect for me… and look so pretty too!
THANKS Dom! I have missed you, but I hope your birthday was filled with fun and lots of lovely meals…..
Andrew Petrie says
I’ve never bought crab because of it’s price but this recipe makes the outlay look more than worthwhile.
Lisa Williams says
Delicious a perfect summer lunch if summer ever comes 🙂