How to prepare Crab like a Chef at home

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1. Place killed crab into a pan of boiling water onto boil cover with a lid, when boiling add salt, use 10g of salt to a one litre of water. 
2. Place crab in and return back to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes per 1kg, 1.5kg crab add 4 minutes more to cooking time.
3. Remove crab from pan and place on a tray in a cool place e.g. a garage (never place in cold water as this will make the crab meat wet). 
4. Once cooled, wearing a pair of disposable gloves for hygiene and crab hairs from the legs can be itchy. Remove legs and claws, break open with a heavy wooden object e.g. claw cracker a rolling pin to break claws and legs. With quick short taps rather than smashing too hard as this will break up the white crab meat. Use a tea spoon handle to remove any meat in the shells. 
5. Prise apart the hard top shell from the under body using your thumbs.
6. In the hard shell part remove parts behind eyes and mouth and the small yellowy sack which is the crabs stomach.
7. You will be left with the brown meat which some will be set and some semi set. Scrape out with spoon into a bowl. 
8. For the under body you will find the dead mans fingers (gills) which you must discard. 
9. Cut through the under carriage with a large knife, then pick away the white meat which is hidden in the under carriage which is best done using a teaspoon which has a pointed handle.
10. Very important to check through white crab meat for any broken shells.
11. Crab meat can be stored in fridge for two days.

How to prepare Langoustines like a Chef at home

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1. Defrost langoustines using packet guidelines
2. Using a pair of disposable gloves, remove body from head by pulling and slightly twisting at the same time. You may be lucky and find a green coloured roe in the head end these are the eggs of the langoustines which can be used in sauces, soups etc along with the head part.
3. Starting at the wide part of the langoustine tail, remove shell parts one at a time working down towards tail end. 
4. When you reach the tail end pinch tail with thumb and finger and pull away, this should remove the internal tract (Black strip) at the same time. If it does not come out just cut down the back of the tail with a sharp knife and remove using tweezers or point of a small knife.

How to prepare Squid like a Chef at home

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1. With two hands hold the body (mantle) in one hand and the head end in the other hand and pull apart.
2. The quill may come out with head or left in mantle. 
3. Place head on board and using your fingers pinch in front of eyes and behind the start of tentacles to push out mouth part. Run tentacles under water to clean and removing any loose suckers at the same time, pat dry, cut in half if large. 
4. Wash body inside to remove any left parts, remove wings by pushing back on mantle and cutting thickest part away which was attached to the mantle.
5. Using a wooden spoon handle push from the tail end so it turns inside out. 
6. Remove any membrane from wings and slice into strips, the wing parts will be 
tougher.
7. Slice into 0.5 cm rings ready for stir-frying or deep frying.

How To Bake Seafood?

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Definition: Cooking fish and shellfish with dry heat in an oven.

Example: Salmon en papillotte (Paper bag cooking).

  1. Pat dry salmon.
  2. Butter or oil heart shape paper or tin foil bag, place blanched vegetable strips on top and season.
  3. Lay salmon supreme on top, sprinkle with some white wine, season and place a knob of butter or a dash of olive oil on top.
  4. Seal up bag and place on a flat metal tray, bake in oven at 180C.
  5. Use temperature probe by piercing through bag and should register 55-60C, depending how you like your salmon done.

 

How To Boil Seafood?

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Definition: Cooking fish and shellfish in the correct amount of liquid (water, stock, milk, wine, court-bouillon) at 100Celcius which is at boiling point. This may be rapid or gentle (gentle would be simmering).

Example: Turbot Fillet Skin-on

1. Place choice of liquid (Red wine court-bouillon) onto boil in a large pan, cover with lid and bring to the rolling boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, add a pinch of salt.
2. Strain court-bouillon and place fish or shellfish into it and bring back to the boil, reduce heat so liquid is simmering at gentle boil. 
3. Cook until fish is firm to the press or reaches 57-60 C on your temperature probe. If the skin is still on the fish fillet the skin will come off easily. For shellfish can also use your timing guidelines.
4. Remove fish or shellfish from liquid onto a tray lined with kitchen roll.
5. Season with sea salt if required.

 

How To Deep-Fry Seafood?

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Definition: Cooking fish and shellfish completely submerged in appropriate quantity of preheated oil fat.

Example: Battered Cod Fillet.

1. Preheat electric deep fat fryer or use a wok filled with vegetable oil no more than a third full. 
2. Oil should be heated over a low to medium heat to 180C-190C No More, switch off gas or remove wok from heat source carefully and allow to cool back down again. (Use a thermometer to be accurate) 
3. When oil is ready add cod fillet carefully. For example use hand or wooden skewer. 
4. When cod fillet rises to surface of oil and floats, cod fillet will be ready. 
5. Remove onto a plate using a slotted spoon with kitchen roll to absorb excess oil.

 

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