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Dinner Dilemmas with Kevin Dundon

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Kilmore Quay Dressed Crab


. 1 x 2kg/4lb 4oz cooked brown crab
. 1 lemon
. salt and freshly ground black pepper
. 2 free-range eggs, hard-boiled, peeled
. 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
. 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
. 2 tsp Dijon mustard


1. Place the crab onto a chopping board, hard shell facing down. Remove the legs by twisting them off where they meet the body. Remove the claws.

2. Separate the crab body from the central part of the crab by placing the crab on its back (hard shell-side down). Put your hands under the edge of the crab and push upwards until you hear it break. You may need to use a heavy knife to help you lever the crab apart. Remove all ten of the spongy 'dead men's fingers' and discard. Drain any excess water from the shell of the crab and remove the stomach sac and hard membranes inside the shell.

3. Use a spoon to remove the brown meat from the shell and any soft shell that has formed. Place it into a clean bowl and mash with a fork. Season with half of the lemon juice, half of the cayenne pepper, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Press down on the edges of the crab shell, breaking away the outer edges to form a 'dish' for serving. Rinse the shell in cold water and dry thoroughly.

5. Break each claw in half. Use the handle of a teaspoon to scrape the white meat out of the thick end of the claw. Place into a separate clean bowl. Use the back of a heavy-bladed knife to crack open the remaining piece of claw and the pincers. Remove all the white meat and flake into the bowl. Remove the piece of cartilage inside each of the claws, pick off the meat and discard the cartilage.

6. If the legs are large enough, it's worth picking the meat out of them. Snap them in half and discard the thin end of the leg. Using the back of a heavy-bladed knife, smash the shell on the thicker part of the leg. Pull the meat out and add to your bowl.

7. Run your fingers through the white meat in the bowl to break up the meat and to pick out any remaining bits of shell. Season with the remaining lemon juice, remaining cayenne pepper and salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. Spoon the white meat into the centre of the reserved crab shell. Spoon the brown meat along either side of the white meat.

9. Remove the cooked egg white from the hard-boiled egg and grate finely, or push through a sieve. Place a line of the grated egg white along the left-hand edge and right-hand edge of the white crab meat. Repeat with the egg yolk. Place a line of the chopped chives alongside the grated egg yolk and egg white to form 3 stripes on either side of the white crab meat. Place the dressed crab onto a large serving plate.