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Fish and Shellfish

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Crab Toast

message posted 06-Mar-08 11:38:50
We serve these as a bar snack at my pub the Hinds Head — they’re perfect with a good pint of bitter. But you could also have them as a starter, or even as a light lunch with a watercress salad. They’re simple to make and really satisfying. To prepare the clarified butter, gently melt a little piece, then strain through a sieve to remove any solids. If you want to save time, you can use ghee instead.

Serves 4-8

500g fresh brown crab meat
40ml lemon juice
6 drops Tabasco
½-1 tbsp mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper
8 thick slices of dense white bread such as sourdough or Poilâne
Clarified butter, for spreading
1 tbsp chives, chopped
A pinch of fleur de sel

Mix together the crab meat, lemon juice and Tabasco and stir well. Now add the mayonnaise. How much depends on the mixture — if it’s quite wet, add only ½ tbsp; if it is thick, add 1 full tbsp. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Then put in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Just before serving, lightly brush the slices of bread with the clarified butter, then either chargrill on both sides or place in a hot oven (about 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6) for about 5 minutes, to toast. Spread the crab mixture onto the grilled or toasted bread, sprinkle with chives and fleur de sel, and serve immediately.

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