For this recipe, you will need a deep fat fryer.
For the crab stock, heat the butter in a large frying pan until foaming and fry the whole crabs and vegetables for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened. Pour over the water and cider, bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for one hour.
Strain the mixture through a sieve set over a saucepan. Discard the vegetables and crabs.
Bring the strained stock to the boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat, set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge.
For the cider-cured sea trout, place the sea trout onto a tray. Mix the salt and sugar together in a bowl and sprinkle over the sea trout. Drizzle over the cider and chill in the fridge for one hour.
Wash the salt mixture off the sea trout, pat dry with kitchen paper, then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge.
For the brown crab mayonnaise, cook the crab in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 18-20 minutes. Remove the crab from the pan and set aside to cool.
To prepare the cooked, cooled crab, first remove the legs by twisting them off where they meet the body. Remove the claws by pulling them off the body.
Separate the crab body from the central part of the crab by placing the crab onto its back, shell-side down. Put your hands under the edge of the crab and push upwards until you hear it break. You may need to use a heavy knife to help you lever the crab apart.
Remove all ten of the spongy 'dead men's fingers' and discard.
Drain any excess water from the shell of the crab and remove the stomach sac and hard membranes inside the shell.
Use a spoon to remove the brown meat from the shell and any soft shell that has formed. Place it into a clean bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside in the fridge.
Break each claw in half. Use the handle of a teaspoon to scrape the white meat out of the thick end of the claw. Place into a separate clean bowl.
Use the back of a heavy-bladed knife to crack open the remaining piece of claw and the pincers. Remove all the white meat and flake into the bowl. Remove the piece of cartilage inside each of the claws, pick off the meat and discard the cartilage.
To remove the meat from the body of the crab, take a sharp knife and cut the crab body in half then in half again. Pick out the meat using your fingers. Pick through the white crabmeat to check for small pieces of shell and discard. Measure out 100g/3½ of the brown crabmeat. Any extra can be used for another recipe.
Whisk the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard and 100g/3½oz of the brown crabmeat. Slowly whisk in the oil to make a mayonnaise. Season, to taste, with salt.
For the crab mixture, mix the white crabmeat, one tablespoon of the brown crab mayonnaise, chopped fennel fronds and lemon juice together in a bowl.
For the sauce, whisk 100g/3½oz of the brown crab mayonnaise and 20ml/¾fl oz of double cream together in a bowl. Add enough crab stock to form a sauce consistency. Set aside in the fridge.
For the garnish, blanch the samphire in boiling salted water for one minute, then drain. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the sea beet for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted. Drain. Heat a deep fat fryer to 200C/ 392F and fry the gutweed for 20 seconds. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Meanwhile, pat the gutweed dry using kitchen paper and fry for 20 seconds. Set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
To cook the sea trout, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the sea trout fillets, presentation-side down, for 4-5 minutes or until it turns golden-brown. Carefully turn the fillets over and cook for a further 30 seconds.
To serve, warm through the sauce. (NB: do not let the mixture boil.) Place some wilted sea beet into the centre of each of four serving bowls and spoon some crab mixture on top. Place some samphire on top, then the cooked sea trout. Drizzle over the sauce and sprinkle over the deep-fried seaweed.
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