Crab Risotto, Seaweed Crumb & Pol Roger


here sadly aren’t many evenings where I indulge in crab and Pol Roger…yet. But if ever an occasion called for such an elaborate and indulgent feast then moving into your first house (flat) purchase with the love of your life surely has to be one. I candidly think this wasn’t quite fancy enough. However, we still don’t have a dining table so the pennies are pinched (from tomorrow).

I’m been saving this glamorous bottle of Champagne for a few years now. Just waiting on the perfect occasion for celebrations and now seemed the perfect time. A classic Champagne only pairs well with greasy, oily and most popularly, deep fried nibbles but being on day 1 in this new kitchen, I opted for a packet of Sainsbury’s chilli coated peanuts. I mentioned that table…

With little energy left to work out the mechanics of the new oven, a hob only, one pot dinner was looking appealing. Deep, rich crab in an oozy, buttery risotto with plenty of zesty lemon was a treat. Topped with some crispy breadcrumbs seasoned with seaweed salt for an extra dimension.

TIPS: For tips on making risottos, please see my tips here.

Serves 2

Crab Risotto

  • 2 large handfuls risotto rice (usually one large one per person)
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large glass dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pints chicken stock (hot)
  • Approx 50g parmesan, finely grated
  • 40g unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 packet asparagus spears
  • 200g mixed white and brown crab meat (I use two packets of this 50/50 one from Waitrose)
  • Chives, chopped to serve

Seaweed Crumb

  • 2 slices brown bread
  • Seaweed salt (I use this from Cornish)
  1. Start by making the breadcrumbs to get them out the way. Blitz the bread slices in a food processor until fine. Heat a small frying pan with a little splash of rapeseed/plain flavoured oil on a medium-high heat. Once hot add the breadcrumbs with a big pinch or two of the seaweed salt and fry until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen towel and set aside with the chives to serve later. Once cool, add half the zest of the lemon.
  2. To begin the risotto, make sure you have a large pot on hob, keeping warm on a low heat with your chicken stock ready at hand.
  3. Heat a large high sided frying pan/ saucepan or (my preference) a Le Cresout pot on a medium heat. Add a splash of oil and a knob of the butter.
  4. Once melted and bubbling, gently sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and gently fry for a few minutes. Season with salt and cracked black pepper.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the rice, mixing continuously to stop it sticking. Cook on a hot heat until the grains are starting to turn translucent.
  6. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and add the white wine. Simmer to reduce.
  7. Now, begin the stock addition process. The rice should be cooked in about 15 minutes, with the gentle addition of ladles of your hot stock continuously. Ensure you stir throughout and add more liquid as the mixture absorbs the stock. Don’t let it dry out. You may need more/less stock, don’t worry about the measurements. The above is a guide.
  8. After 15 minutes taste the grains. They should have a slight bite to them but be a few minutes away from cooked. The remaining time will cook this out.
  9. At this stage, ensure the consistency is ‘oozy’. By that I mean NOT dry and will fall front he spoon. Add the asparagus spears, the crab and stir to combine. Taste and season if needed. heat for 2 minutes.
  10. Once heated through, add the juice of the lemon, the remaining zest, the cubed butter, 3/4 of the chopped chives and the parmesan. Put a lid on the risotto and remove from, the heat. Let it sit for 3 minutes or so while you get the dishes and finishing touches sorted.
  11. If you can, preheat some bowls. When ready to serve, mix the melted buttery-cheese into the risotto to combine. If its thickened up, add some more hot water just to loosen – it should ooze on the flat like porridge.
  12. Spoon into bowl and top with the rest of the chives, and a good handful of crispy breadcrumbs.
  13. Devour with Pol Roger if you’re celebrating.