We had a late brunch yesterday (bacon and eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms on toast mmmmm) then went over to Monkey Mia to crab.
On the way across, I commented to Russ that if we happened to get any crabs, I’d make risotto for dinner Friday. We haven’t heard of anyone in the park crabbing, or getting crabs so I thought maybe they (the crabs) had moved on. How wrong was I. We’re only fishing on one licence now as the fishing is poor and 20 crabs is enough but they were there in huge numbers.
We had 8 nets out and every run (we did about 6) got us at least one, and often two, crabs in each net. We threw back lots of just size crabs to bring home 14 big beauties. I also pulled in a shovel nose shark/ray that was at least 1.2 metres long in one pot . Russ has only ever been nipped by a crabs a couple of times but one got him yesterday. It was undersized with one deformed claw. We threw it back, went back and picked that net up again 20 minutes later and there the nasty little bugger was again!
Last night we cooked the crabs and put them in the fridge-this morning we picked them. Out of interest, I weighed the meat. We got 1.2 kg! Then out of interest I priced blue swimmer crab meat-about $60 a kg so quite a nice little feed! We froze three packs of around 300g each, and kept back about 300g for risotto tonight.
After lunch we went for a drive to Dubaut Inlet-a lovely little creek Beaty and Charlie have often spoken of but we’ve never seen. We probably did 10 ks of 4WDing through biridas, up and down red sand hills, to a little inlet surrounded by mangroves. It was one of those flat, still days when it becomes hard to tell the sky from the sea-very beautiful. It was a great few hours.
At home, I made crab risotto for dinner and we sat, as usual, telling each other how lucky we are!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed, divided
- 1 cup aborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock (approximately), kept simmering on another burner
- zest of a lemon, divided
- 2 tablespoon shredded basil, divided
- 30 g grated parmesan cheese
- 60g butter
- cracked black pepper (much as you like)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Cooked crab meat (as much as you have, or want for two people)
- Heat the oil and cook the leek until it’s well softened. Add half the garlic and cook a minute or so more.
- Add the rice and cook until it’s coated with the oil. Tip in the wine and cook, stirring, until it’s evaporated. Now start and add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until it’s completely evaporated, before adding the next.
- This might take about 25 minutes in total but keep stirring and when you get near the end of the stock, start tasting a grain of rice-it needs a bit of bite in the centre but to be 9/10ths cooked. When you reckon it’s almost done, add in half the lemon zest and shredded basil.
- When you are sure it’s done, turn the heat off and stir through the butter and parmesan, the lemon juice and black pepper. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
- Mix together the remaining garlic, basil and zest to make a gremolata
- Serve the risotto in a flat disc, sprinkle over the gremolata, top with the crab. Eat!