The Corn Stores' crab and Jersey Royal salad

Luxury London

13 September 2021

Inspired by the rise in popularity of pickled foods during lockdown, Liam Sweeny, head chef at The Corn Stores, devised this dish for the restaurant's new menu, featuring pickled dulse seaweed and an elderflower pickle gel. It may look complicated but many of the elements can be made in advance and the final result is well worth the effort.

13 September 2021 | Luxury London

Ingredients

1 Fresh crab (at least 2kg)
500g Jersey royal potatoes
20g Sea aster
20g Sea purslane
20g Samphire
10g Sea lettuce
20g Salted butter

To make the egg yolk puree
12 large eggs

For the pickled dulse
50g Dulse seaweed
30g Rice wine vinegar
10g Water
20g Sugar

To make the crab stock
Smashed crab bones
1 Fennel
1 Onion
1 Sheet kombu
½ Bunch of tarragon
½ Bunch thyme
¼ Bunch coriander
2L Water
200ml White wine (Chablis)
4g Coriander seeds
4g Fennel seeds
2 Bay leaves

For the cured yolk
1L Soy sauce
4 Egg yolks, carefully separated

To make the leek ash
1kg Leeks

For the elderflower gel
100g Elderflowers
250g Pickling liquor (3 parts white wine vinegar, 2 parts water, 1 part sugar)
4g Agar agar

Method

To prepare

  1. To cook the crab, once humanely dispatched and allowed to drain, steam at 90c for 25 mins and allow to cool before carefully removing the meat from the shells.
  2. Prepare the sea aster, purslane, samphire and sea lettuce by picking and washing. Set aside to cook later.

To pickle the dulse

  1. Wash the seaweed thoroughly and allow to drain.
  2. Mix the vinegar, water and sugar together, then place the seaweed and the pickle in a bag and leave in the fridge for at least 2 days.

To make the crab stock

  1. Roast the crab bones at 150c for 10 minutes. Be sure your oven is not above this temperature as the bones will quickly become bitter if over-roasted.
  2. Place into a suitably sized pan, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Strain and put back on a high heat to reduce the stock by 1/3.

To make the yolk puree

  1. Cook the whole eggs at 64c for 1hour 45mins.
  2. Separate the yolks and whites, discard the whites, then blend the yolks to make a thick puree. Season with salt.

To cure the egg yolks

  1. Drop the yolks into a bowl and cover with the soy sauce, turning every hour. They will take approximately 3 hours and are ready once they have formed a thicker skin on the outside.
  2. Carefully remove the yolks from the soy and dehydrate until they are dry enough to grate.

To make the leek ash

  1. Place the washed leeks in the oven at 100c overnight, or around 8 hours.
  2. Once they are fully dry and roasted, blend to a fine powder and put into a shaker.

To make the elderflower pickle gel

  1. Place the elderflowers in the pickle for at least 1 month.
  2. Take 200g of the elderflowers and pickle, and blend to make a liquid, stalks and all.
  3. Place in a pan with the agar agar and cook until it reaches 90c. Hold that temperature for 2 minutes, then pour into a tray and allow to set.
  4. Blend the resulting jelly to achieve a fluid gel, then place in a piping bag and set aside.

To cook the potatoes

  1. Place the potatoes into a pan and cover with just enough crab stock to cover them.
  2. Season heavily with salt and cook slowly until they are tender. Leave to sit in the crab stock until needed.

To finish the dish

  1. Warm the potatoes in a little fresh crab stock and a generous spoonful of butter.
  2. Season the picked crab meat with salt.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the pan and place the sea vegetables into the leftover liquid to gently wilt them.
  4. Place a suitable sized ring on the plate and lightly crush the warm potatoes into it, leaving a gap in the centre.
  5. Pipe the yolk puree in the middle.
  6. Carefully spoon the crab on top of the potatoes, remove the ring.
  7. Top with dots of the elderflower gel, pickled dulse and wilted sea vegetables.
  8. Grate the cured yolk over and finish with the leek ash.

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