To dresse a Crab
PERIOD: England, 1545 | SOURCE: A Propre new booke of Cokery | CLASS: Authentic
DESCRIPTION: Crab meat dressed in its own shell
To dresse a Crab.
First take awaie all the legges and heddes / and then take all the fisshe out of the shelle & make the shelle as clene as ye can and putte the meate in to a disshe and butter it upon a chafyng dishe of coles and putte there to sinamon and suger and a little vineger, and when ye have chafed it and seasoned it / then put the meate in the shelles again and bruse the heddes and set them upon the disshe side and serue it.
To dress a Crab.
First take away all the legs and heads / and then take all the fish out of the shell & make the shell as clean as you can and put the meat into a dish and butter it upon a chafing dish of coals and put thereto cinnamon and sugar and a little vinegar, and when you have warmed it and seasoned it / then put the meat in the shells again and bruise the heads and set them upon the dish side and serve it.
The original recipe calls for the side of the serving platter to be garnished with the cooked crab heads, slightly "bruised" or cracked, indicating that crayfish may also be used.
For an added visual effect, sprinkle a little fine cinnamon over the shelled meat just before serving.
This dish may also be served with additional vinegar or clarified butter as a side sauce.
Read a medieval text about crayfish HERE.
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