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Spider crab gratin

With sweet strands of crab and a cheesy topping, this is an impressive dish that tastes as great as it looks.

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  1. Pick the meat from the crab, including that from the legs, and place into a bowl. Clean the shell of the body and set aside. Reserve the remaining shells from the legs for another recipe.

  2. Preheat the grill to high.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the leek, shallot and celery and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.

  4. Add the picked crabmeat, tomato purée, ginger and mustard to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from catching.

  5. Add the white wine and brandy and simmer for a few minutes, or until the liquid has reduced.

  6. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in a dash of hot sauce, the lemon zest and basil.

  7. Spoon the crabmeat mixture back into the reserved crab shell. Mix together the breadcrumbs and grated cheeses, then sprinkle the mixture over the filling. Place under the grill until the topping is golden-brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.

Recipe Tips

Reserve the crab shells to make a crab bisque another time.