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Tian of crab, tomato, fennel and cucumber with shellfish sauce

You'll need

  • 4
  • Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeds removed cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 bulb
  • baby fennel, thinly sliced lengthways using a mandolin
  • 1
  • small telegraph cucumber, seeds removed and cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 tbsp
  • finely chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1
  • avocado, halved, stone removed and sliced widthways into 5mm slices
  • To serve:
  • chervil sprigs
  •  
  • Shellfish stock
  • 4 (350gm each)
  • cooked blue swimmer crabs
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup)
  • vegetable oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup)
  • white wine
  • 2 tbsp
  • brandy
  • 200 ml
  • fish stock
  • 1 tbsp
  • tomato paste
  •  
  • Shellfish sauce
  • 150 ml
  • thickened cream
  • 1 tbsp
  • white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp
  • Dijon mustard
  • Pinch
  • sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp each
  • finely chopped tarragon and flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method

  • 01
  • For shellfish stock, working with one crab at a time, lift triangular flap beneath crab and remove, then lift top shell away from body and reserve. Remove gills and discard ‘mustard’. Remove meat, reserving half the shells, place meat in a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Using the back of a large knife, break up reserved shells. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add shells and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to release oil from shells. Deglaze pan with wine and brandy, add fish stock, season to taste with sea salt, add tomato paste, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing shells to extract all liquid, into a saucepan. Discard shells. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes until reduced to 1/3 cup. Cool.
  • 02
  • For shellfish sauce, combine cream, vinegar, mustard and paprika in a bowl. Gradually whisk in shellfish stock, add herbs, stir to combine and refrigerate until required. Makes 1 cup.
  • 03
  • Combine tomato, fennel, cucumber and chives in a bowl, drizzle with oil and vinegar and season to taste. Lightly season crab meat and avocado.
  • 04
  • Place an 8cm-diameter, 6cm-high ring (see note) in the centre of a plate, arrange ¼ of the avocado in ring, top with 1/8 of the tomato mix, then ¼ of crab, press down gently, then finish with ¹/8 of tomato mix. Press down gently and carefully remove ring. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Drizzle plates with shellfish sauce and serve tians scattered with chervil.
Note Rings are available from kitchenware shops. Alternatively, use two 8cm-diameter pastry cutters stacked on top of each other.

“I was delighted during a trip to the Hunter Valley to discover Rock Restaurant. I’d love to make Andrew Clarke’s crab tian at home.”
Louise-May Hill, via email

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
  • 15 min preparation
  • 30 min cooking
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
  • 15 min preparation
  • 30 min cooking

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