Susan was already on her way to Frankie's (Best chipper in Scotland - official) to fetch our tea last night, when our neighbour Michael arrived with a 'fry' - a wee gift of fish from his boat. In this case, as a creel fisherman, it was a particularly generous present - four large crabs and a lobster.
I boiled them up last night on arrival, salting the water to sea levels. Around 20 minutes or so. The lobster is set for dinner on Thursday, in classic Thermidor form, with the crabs adding some extra bulk. I'll describe what happens, when it happens...everything's in the freezer for the moment.
But I decided to use the crab claws to make a starter for tonight...sort of. Actually, that's a lie. The claws fell off during boiling and I forgot all about them until today, by which time they had to be salvaged from the boiling liquor in the big huge pot and dealt with, else they would waver past the point of unrefrigerated edibility. Idiot, I know.
Anyway, it was out with the breadboard and an old Le Creuset pot on the point of dearh through wobbly handle. Batter, batter, bits of shell and crab matter everywhere. Enough meat after much faffing about for a biggish bowl. And then the recipe.
Well, that's another lie. I don't really do recipes. I just throw things together and keep tasting until it's roughly right. And if it isn't, I have been known to run basic ingredients under the tap until I can just about start again. It's amazing what you can get away with. I've salvaged entire curries that way.
So, anyway. Crab meat, one bowl. Hellman's Mayonnaise or generic imitation, some. Mustard, Dijon, for taste not heat. Cayenne pepper or Nando's Scotch Bonnet sauce, half a teaspoon (the sauce not the Cayenne, which I didn't have). Lemon juice. Mix experimentally.
So far, so delicious. We're having it with pitta bread. Susan, for whom summers epnt working in a shellfish processing factory as a student rendered crabs inedible until she had my last batch of Crab Kerfuffle Emergency Mayo, says she'll eat it.
Oh, and Frankies was great last night, but it deserves a the full Jujubes treatment in due course.