Crab soufflé with radish, baby spinach and rocket salad


For the crab soufflé
  • 40g/1½oz butter, plus extra for buttering
  • 40g/1½oz plain flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 275ml/10fl oz milk
  • 75g/2½oz picked brown crabmeat
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 free-range eggs, separated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
For the crab shell sauce
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 crab shell, in pieces
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 110ml/4fl oz white wine
  • 75ml/2¾fl oz brandy
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints hot fish stock
  • 90ml/3fl oz double cream
  • ½ lemon, juice only
For the radish, baby spinach and rocket salad
  • 200g/7¼oz radishes, quartered
  • 50g/1¾oz baby spinach
  • 50g/1¾oz rocket
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard

Preparation method

  1. For the crab soufflé, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease four ramekins (8-10cm/3-4in diameter) with butter. Mix a tablespoon of the flour with the cayenne pepper and dust the inside of the ramekins.

  2. Place the butter and flour into a saucepan and heat until a nutty aroma is released, stirring all the time.

  3. Add the milk and stir to form a thick smooth sauce. Add the crabmeat and mustard; stir until smooth.

  4. When cool, add the egg yolks (reserving the egg whites) and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice until firm peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  6. Fold a quarter of the egg whites into the crab mixture using a large metal spoon to loosen the mixture. Carefully fold in the remaining egg white.

  7. Fill the ramekins two-thirds full, smooth the surface with a palette knife and run a knife around the inside edge of the dish to ease the soufflé mixture away from the side of the dish – this helps the soufflé to rise.

  8. Stand the ramekins in a deep roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes (this is called a bain-marie).

  9. Place in the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.

  10. For the crab shell sauce, heat the butter in a large frying pan until foaming. Add the onion, carrot, celery and herbs and stir well. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

  11. Add the crab shell pieces, cayenne pepper and tomato purée and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

  12. Add the white wine and brandy and remove from the heat. Set the mixture alight with a match, taking care to keep the flames away from your face, hands and other objects in the vicinity, and ensuring your extractor fan is turned off. Let the flames flare up and then subside and return the pan to the heat.

  13. Add the hot fish stock and bring to the boil; then reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for five minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.

  14. Transfer the mixture into a fine sieve suspended over a pan. Press the mixture through the sieve, collecting the liquid in the pan.

  15. Add the cream and lemon juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  16. For the radish, baby spinach and rocket salad, place the radishes, spinach and rocket into a salad bowl.

  17. Whisk the oil, vinegar and mustard together in a separate bowl and pour over the salad.

  18. Serve the soufflé with the salad on the side and the sauce in a jug.

Required techniques

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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