Crab, Grilled Vegetable and Avocado Mélange
(Recipe serves 6)
1.5 kg whole Brown crab and 4 claws (Cancer Pagurus, also known as the “Edible crab”).
Any other large crab with meaty claws can be used. If that’s not available, use whole cooked meat that you can use on the grill, namely leg and claw meat from a Snow, King or Dungeness crab making sure you keep the pieces as large as possible once removed from the shell. All of these crabs are different in size and are quite distinct in flavour. Therefore, if you are not following this recipe to a “T”, be sure to allow for creative allowance on your part. If an empty shell is not available for serving a decorative dish will do.
3 mild long shaped peppers; Italian, Hungarian, banana or wax
1 large leek
1 medium fennel
2 ripe but firm avocados
1 lemon juiced and 1 lemon for garnish
1.5 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce or any hot sauce you prefer. Start off sparingly as you can always add more
Horseradish to taste, about 2 tbsp. Like the hot sauce start off sparingly and add more if needed
Finely chopped chives to taste. Reserve a few whole ones as garnish
Salt to taste
- Preheat your barbecue to 300º C (575º F).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Wash the crab and claws and boil for twenty minutes, removing the scum.
- Once cooked rinse under cold water and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
- When cooled, remove the legs and claws reserving the whole claw leg and discarding the finer ones unless you’d like to shell them.
- Turn the carapace over, remove the underbelly shell and empty out the contents, discard. Wash the carapace well and dry.
- The claws are very thick shelled. With the help of a hammer or kitchen mallet, hit the shell just enough to crack it but not enough to break the meat. Remove all the meat keeping it as whole as possible.
- Discard the roots and greens from the leek and fennel bulb. Cut the leek in three and then each pice in half lengthwise. Cut the fennel in quarters. Leave the peppers whole and coat all the vegetables with oil. Salt lightly.
- With the use of a grilling wok, begin by grilling the vegetables until they start to wilt, about 15 minutes. Add in the crab pieces. When the vegetables begin to brown, remove from the heat and cover with a clean cloth and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, remove the tops and seeds from the peppers and discard. Finely chop all the vegetables including the avocado into small pieces but do not mince them, you want texture. Place in a bowl.
- With your fingers, pull the crab meat apart, it should shred easily, and add it in with the vegetables. Finely chop the chives, as many as you like but about 10 should do it and add it to the mix. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Fill the carapace with the mixture and garnish with lemon rings and whole chives.
Tip: You can serve the mélange with crackers or crusty bread but I prefer serving it alone in order to appreciate the sweetness of the crab meat. I like to serve it on Asian porcelain spoons.
Posted on December 20, 2013 by Matthew C. exclusively for BBQXL