When I originally set out to write my blog, I had high hopes of doing it every week. In fact to start, I actually got ahead of myself, writing blogs in anticipation of the following weeks. That was in the early days, when we were quiet and blog writing passed the time between bookings. However lately, I have discovered the time to actually sit and write has become a rarity as weekdays have become steadily busier with preparation for weekend functions.
Therefore I would like to apologise that it’s been a while since my last post. I believe that I left you at the letter O. So now I have reached P. Until this point, I have tried hard to remain true to the letter, for example: ‘d for duck’ and ‘f for fennel. However, I realised now that the letter P opened up an opportunity to good to pass. So I’m going with ‘Portland’ Crab!
I myself am a huge fan of fresh crab. The simple taste of fresh crab meat has to be one of the most satisfying experiences and makes you thankful for living next to the sea. When eating crab dishes, my preference is to eat it with as fewer embellishments as possible. Personally, I don’t see the point in using fresh flavoursome crab and then losing that flavour by adding 101 different ingredients. There has been much disappointment when I have eaten Crab Pasta in restaurants – as I’m sure many of you can relate to - and the main flavour is the cream or tomato or chilli sauce that accompanies the dish. Also, there is a strong possibility that it is not actually fresh crab at all!
Throughout my years as a chef in professional kitchens, I have encountered a variety of crab dishes. One that has remained with me was a recipe by my Head Chef, Tony Smith, at Moonfleet Manor. When he first arrived, he introduced an awesome recipe for a Crab Cake to the menu. In the subsequent 17 years of being Head Chef, he attempted to remove it from the menu multiple times; but to no avail! Although the recipe has multiple ingredients, they would compliment the flavour and freshness of the crab allowing the crab to be the star of the dish.
When I make Crab Tortellini or Ravioli, I try to limit myself to 1 or 2 ingredients to go into the mixture. One of my favourite dishes is a Crab and Tarragon Mayonnaise with White Asparagus. Today I would like to leave you with the recipe for the crab element of the dish. This is a simple recipe; and if you purchase ready prepared crab meat then it becomes extremely easy.
If you prefer not to eat it with Asparagus, then you can eat it as it comes or with a fresh salad. You can even sandwich it between 2 hunks of warm bread. A simple and delightful tasty dish.
I get my crab from Dorset Shellfish based in Portland. I would argue they have some of the best Crab available in the country, let alone Dorset. You will find them at a lot of food fairs. Their website is here and I urge you to check them out. They have an online shop as well which makes them easy to buy from.
I hope you have enjoyed this foray back into the blog writing world, albeit a brief one. We are doing a lot of Private Dinners, casual canape parties and buffets here in Weymouth as well as Dorchester and the surrounding areas. We are also looking to do another restaurant pop up night in the very near future. Make sure to follow our Facebook page or come back to our website to find out more information.