Saturday, 29 December 2007

Crab bake on Marazion Beach

Having got so enthused with the glorious bounty from Newlyn, I figured the best way to retain some of this glorious crab's freshness was to cook it out on the beach, amongst the elements and a cold sea crashing around us. The idea was to dig a large hole on the beach and cover it with large stones. On top of this a large fire was lit, with the white hot embers and searing hot rocks becoming an oven to bake and steam the claws and mussels, with help of course of a few seasonings and some aluminum foil. I had a trusty team of eager fire lighters John, Dean, Nic, Alex, and Katie) who did a sterling job of lighting a magnificent fire, which sadly and eventually became dampened by a downpour.
The claws I had chosen to cook whole on the fire, all smoky and sweet. I had made a delicious tarragon aioli to accompany the crab, along with a parcel of steamed local organic potatoes. The scallops got a different treatment - which after they had been cleaned of grit and frills, were left in their beautiful shells and anointed with a spoonful of a homemade pesto (large bunch of basil, handfull of pinenuts, fat clove of garlic, lemon zest, a good few glugs of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt - as it's fish I omitted the Parmesan cheese as I wanted to concentrate on the herbiness with the scallop) - these were then placed on the embers to cook and sizzle for a few minutes. Lastly the debearded mussels were bundled into a foil parcel with shards of fennel and a good slosh of Noilly Pratt. These too were destined for the fire.
Needless to say that the rain did put out the fire, and freezing cold we decided to salvage our feast and continue the cooking back at the house...

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