Darina Coffey's signature dish from Heat 3 of MasterChef 2014

Ingredients

  • 100 g fresh picked white crab meat
  • 100 g fresh picked brown crab meat
  • 2 fresh crab claws
  • 60ml cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yolk
  • pasta:
  • 100 g oo tipo flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2-3 strands saffron
  • 25 ml sambuca
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 0.5 tsp lemon zest
  • 0.5 a pink grapefruit – flesh and juice
  • 1 tsp hazelnuts
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1 tblsp hazelnut oil
  • 25 g duck breast skin on
  • 2 tblsp fennel frongs
  • 1 tblsp fennel, diced
  • knob of butter

Method

  • Pasta:
  • Place flour, salt and saffron in food processor – blitz to combine, then add egg and blitz for approximately 90 seconds until it forms a ball of dough.
  • Remove from processor onto a chopping board and knead vigorously until smooth and elastic, 3-5 minutes.
  • Place in fridge to chill wrapped in cling film for 15-20 minutes.
  • Crab custard:
  • Place 75g of brown crab meat, cream and egg, Sambuca and 1 tsp fennel seeds in a jug and blitz until smooth with hand blender for 1 minute then pass through a fine sieve.
  • Place the mix in a Pyrex dish over a saucepan of rapidly boiling water and cook stirring constantly until it coats the back of the wooden spoon – 10 minutes. Tip – keep a basin of cold water beside the stove to plunge the dish into if you suspect the egg is scrambling and whisk vigorously until smooth before returning to heat.
  • Set aside for now
  • Pasta shaping-
  • Roll out dough into a thin square and cut in half.
  • Place the square into the pasta machine on the widest setting and thread through, going through the settings down to the narrowest.
  • Cut the resulting long rectangular strip of thin pasta in half, place a line of fennel frongs on top of one sheet, top with the other and run the sandwiched sheets through the narrowest setting again to create a stain glass effect.
  • Using a cooks shaping ring cut out 4 discs of dough and chill in the fridge until using.
  • Grapefruit and vinaigrette:
  • Segment and dice half the grapefruit into cubes
  • For the vinaigrette whisk the hazelnut oil and squeezed grapefruit fruit juice together, add chopped mint leaves, season to taste
  • Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan on a medium heat for 30 seconds, chop and add to vinaigrette
  • Crispy duck crumbs:
  • Finely dice the duck breast with skin on
  • Place in a cold pan and set to medium high heat, cook until fat is rendered and morsels are golden brown and crisp – 2-3 minutes
  • Drain on kitchen paper
  • Crab Filling:
  • Melt knob of butter, lemon zest and diced fennel in a pan over medium heat for 2 minutes, add the white crab meat and remaining 25g of brown meat and heat through for 1 minute
  • Remove from pan, add another knob of butter and warm the claws through – 1-2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Lasagne disks:
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the disks, cook until al dente – about 1-2 minutes or until the disks float to the surface.
  • Assemble and plate up:
  • Place the Pyrex dish with crab custard over the boiling pan of water and reheat for a minute or so
  • Place the presentation ring on the presentation plate and pour a pool of custard on the plate, top with lasagne disk, cover disk with crab meat mixture, repeat in layers and end with a disk on top. Carefully remove presentation ring. Cover with custard.
  • Place grapefruit cubes around the plate and drizzle vinaigrette, scatter duck morsels.
  • Using the blow torch, lightly sear the grapefruit cubes and the top of the lasagne.
  • Place crab claws beside lasagne.
  • Scatter with fennel frongs and serve.