CRAB THERMIDOR

Based on a classic – Lobster Thermidor – this crab version still includes cognac, Gruyere cheese, mustard and egg to help set the ingredients.

1 cooked brown crab – approximately 800g-1kg

Dressed meat: 140-150g brown meat and 150g white meat

30g butter

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 large egg yolk

2tbs crème fraiche

1 tbsp chopped tarragon or chives

1 tsp Dijon mustard or a pinch of dried

1 tbsp cognac

75g Gruyere cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mash the brown crab meat to form a paste. Pick over the white crab meat to ensure there is no shell.

Heat the oven to gas mark 6 – 200C

Melt the butter, add the shallots and cook over a low heat for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Cool

Mix the egg yolk, crème fraiche, tarragon, mustard and cognac together. Stir into the brown meat and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the softened shallot and fold in the white meat and half the Gruyere.

Pile the mixture back into a very clean and blanched crab shell – or a gratin dish. Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere cheese. Sit – propped up if necessary – on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 12 minutes or until the mixture is piping hot.

Serve straight away with crusty bread.

Winkle, Rosemary and Pancetta Ragu

500g cooked winkles, removed from the shell and operculum removed

100g diced pancetta

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

6 tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded

5 tbsp white wine

1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped rosemary

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

200g cooked Trofie

Shell the winkles and remove the operculum . Refrigerate until required.

Heat a frying pan, add the pancetta and olive oil and fry together until the pancetta has begun to brown, add the tomatoes and chilli and continue to cook until the tomatoes are breaking down.

Add the wine, bring to the boil and simmer until its reduce to virtually nothing and the tomato mix is thick. Stir int the winkles and add the herbs and season to taste. To serve toss into the cooked Tofie and adjust seasoning.

Roast Roker with Wild Caper, Mint and Anchovy Butter

Serves 2

2 pieces of Thornback ray – or roker wing 300g each

1 tbsp oil

100g salted butter

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp wild garlic capers

2 anchovy fillets

1 tbsp each chopped chives and mint

Pan-roast the ray wing, roll in seasoned flour and heat some olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. Add the ray wing, baste with the oil and roast in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the shoulder piece of cartilage pulls away.

In a small pan heat the butter until it starts to foam and colour to a nut brown. Whisk in the cider vinegar to emulsify then remove from the heat and add the capers, anchovy fillets and chopped herbs.

Lift the ray wing onto a plate and spoon the nut butter over the top to serve.

Poached Gurnard in Leek, Saffron and Fennel

Serves 4

4 gurnard, filleted and pin-boned

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 leek, finely sliced

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Grated zest 1 lemon

1 tsp ground cumin

A large pinch of saffron

750mls fish stock

5 tbsp white wine

5 tbsp crème fraiche

1 bulb fennel, finely sliced

A large handful of chopped parsley

Splash Pernod

Cut the gurnard into pieces. Chill until required.

Cook the onion and leek in the olive oil for 4 – 5 minutes or until softening. Add the garlic, lemon zest, cumin and saffron and cook for a further 4 -5 mins.

Add the fish stock and white wine to the leek and onion. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 – 5 minutes or until the leek and onion are completely soft and transparent.

Season lightly and add the gurnard and herbs, poach over a low heat until the gurnard is just cooked. Lift the gurnard onto 4 small bowls, Add the fennel to the cooking liquid and poach for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the vegetables on top of the gurnard. Reduce the cooking liquid by 1/3rd – by boiling rapidly, whisk in the crème fraiche and bring back to the boil, season to taste and add the parlsey and Pernod. Spoon over the Gurnard and serve straight away.