Christmas Fruit De Mer

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Seafood is always a real treat for me hot or cold.

In France at Christmas there’s a Tradition of serving a Fruit De Mer after midnight mass.

I like to serve one to the family as a grand starter before the main Christmas meal with a glass of Champagne.

The great thing is you can simply just pick your favourite shellfish which in most cases you can buy already cooked and just simply prepare it and arrange it.

This particular version that serves 6 contained the following-

1 Brown Crab

1 Small Lobster

6-10 Crevettes

10 Peeled crayfish tails.

10-15 Clams

6-8 fresh Osyters

Tabasco

1 clove of Garlic

Some parsley

Black Pepper

A bag of Ice

Lemon

Butter

Sour dough

Garlic Mayonnaise

 

Method-

Crab – using a cooked Brown crab.

  1. Take the crab apart get rid of the gills.
  2. Scrape all the white meat out from the legs and claws.
  3. Take the brown meat and any white meat out of the shell and discard any thing left inside the shell but keep the shell.
  4. Place the white and brown meat into 2 separate bowls and in each sprinkle a little black pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Clean the shell and the place the white meat back into the shell leaving a space for the brown meat to also go back in the shell.

The crab is ready to serve

 

Lobster – Using a cooked small Lobster

  1. Remove the claws and set aside.
  1. Place the lobster belly down flat on a chopping board.
  1. Using a sharp knife stab between the eyes then cut all the way along the body so you have two neat halves.
  1. Take out the brains and intestine and roe if its a female lobster and you don’t like the roe.
  1. Gently prize the tail meat from the tail and any white meat from the body and set aside.
  1. Clean the empty shell and place the tail meat back in each side of the tail and any white meat in each half of the rest of the body.
  1. Take the claws and crack the bottom claw away from the top claw, then slightly crush the top claw with the side of a wide knife trying to keep the shape in tact.
  1. Loosen the all of the arm and claw meat using a skewer and place into the lobster shell.

 

Clams – Raw

  1. Heat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  1. Get an oven proof dish, place a knob of butter into it with a crushed Clove of garlic, some parsley and some seasoning.
  1. Place the dish into the oven.
  1. Wash the Clams and tap them to check they’re alive, they should close, if they don’t discard them.
  2. Place the clams into the pot in the oven once the butter has melted.
  3. Leave in the oven until the clams have opened.
  4. Discard any fully closed clams.
  5. Serve.

Oysters – Raw

  1. Shuck the Oysters open very carefully with an Oyster knife, there’s a hinge at one end where you can prize the Oyster open but be very careful it’s incredibly easy to cut yourself. I suggest you looking up some Oyster Shucking Video’s to ensure you do it safely.
  2. Once you’ve opened the Oyster and removed the top shell, smell the Oyster, if there is a fishy smell the Oyster may be off so do not eat it. It should almost have no smell at all.
  3. Serve I sprinkle, pepper and Tabasco on them before eating.

Crevettes/Crayfish

Serve the Crevettes whole

The Crayfish are ready to eat.

Arrangement –

Pour all the ice into a serving dish and arrange your seafood around the dish.

Cut some fresh bread to go with the Fruit De Mer and put some Garlic Mayonnaise into a ramekin on the Side.

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