Thursday 18 January 2018

Celebrate our shellfish

Neven Maguire shares three great ways with delicious Irish crabmeat

Neven Maguire

Crab is a gloriously, naturally sweet shellfish. We are so lucky to have clean, unpolluted seas where we produce great shellfish. Much of it is exported and our international reputation is very high.

I buy my crab and scallops from Shellfish de la Mer in Castletownbere and I have never tasted better anywhere in the world. A few years back when I was filming 'Home Chef' in Holland, I was proud to see some of their products on the shelves.

The crab and avocado cocktail recipe this week is a twist on the prawn classic. You could also make it with lobster. When my mother and I were cooking together, it was always one of our most popular dishes. Even today we still get requests from customers for it, so I've developed a modern take on it.

My favourite part of the crab is the white meat which comes from the claws. My brother, Kenneth, pan-fries claws with butter, garlic, a little chilli, fresh parsley and crusty bread, and it is wonderful.

The crab and coconut laksa is a variation on a southern Thai recipe that I picked up on my travels. It is delicious for lunch or as a light dinner. I love the fragrant spicy flavour; you can make it as spicy or as mild as you like.

The warm crab and spinach tart is great for a starter or a picnic, and it is quick and easy to make. Chard is in season now, so you could use that instead of the spinach.

You can make the pastry case up to 24 hours in advance, but if you're short of time then you can use shop-bought pastry or a ready-made pastry case instead. And for people with a shellfish allergy, this works well with smoked salmon.

Happy cooking.

See Photography: Emily Quinn; props: Dunnes Stores

Irish Independent

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