I’m not sure if this dish is completely typical of the period, but preserving food in fat is not an uncommon cooking method. Duck confit, rillettes, and potted crab all fit in this category. It allows the food to be stored longer and also stretches out the portions. I like to take some of the fat and spread a thin layer of it on toast or bread and then slather the food on top of it. It is super indulgent, but a little bit packs a big flavor punch. I can’t eat it all the time, but some days it is the perfect lunch or teatime snack or even just an excuse to invite friends over to watch a little telly.
Prep Time: 1 hour (with cleaning the crab)
Serving Size: about 6 ramekins (as a cocktail appetizer, one ramekin will feed multiple people)
8 oz. unsalted butter (2 sticks), melted and clarified (see below)
1 c. Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Meat (not backfin)
1 c. Snow Crab Meat
1/2 tsp. Allspice, freshly ground
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. White Pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice, fresh
Toasted bread or crackers
Kitchen Witch Tip:
Why to clarify butter? Clarified butter, is butter that has been melted and has had the milk solids separated from the butterfat. Although this isn’t necessary to do in everyday cooking, clarified butter has a higher smoke point so food can be cooked in it at a higher temperature without it burning. It can also be stored longer than regular butter and does not need to be refrigerated. Ghee, used in Indian cooking, is the same product. Clarified butter can also be referred to as drawn butter.