The main types of crab available are:
European Brown crab - popular all over Europe, this crab is available all year round. It reaches 20-25cm/8-10in across and has heavy front claws with almost-black pincers, a rusty-red or brown shell, and red hairy legs mottled with white.
Atlantic Blue crab - this crab has a blue-brown shell and can grow to 20cm/8in, but is usually sold smaller. When newly 'moulted' (crabs regularly shed their hard shells), the crabs are caught with soft-shells and deep-fried for eating whole. The Blue crab is popular along the Eastern seaboard of the United States.
Dungeness crab - this can reach up to 20cm/8in and has plenty of delicious white, dense sweet meat. The meat in the shell, notably different for its pale greyish-green colour, also has a great flavour. It is popular along the Pacific seaboard of the United States
Spider crabs - popular in France and Spain, this sweet-flavoured crab has no large claws and, indeed, resembles a big spider.
Prep time: 16-20 minutes
Cooking time: 13-15 minutes
170g crab meat (50/50 white and brown meat from a brown crab)
Good pinch cayenne pepper
Zest 1 lime, plus 1 tbsp lime juice
1 egg, beaten
12 slices streaky bacon, cut in half horizontally
4 tbsp plum sauce
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Mix the crab meat, cayenne pepper, lime zest, and egg together. Season well.
2. Using the back of a knife, stretch each piece of bacon so it's a little flatter and longer than before. Place a small mound of crab meat at one end of each piece of bacon. Roll the bacon around the crab meat, and secure with cocktail sticks, if necessary. Place on an oiled, foil-lined baking sheet or grill pan.
3. Place under the grill for 10 minutes, turning once to ensure even browning, until the rolls are evenly crisp and browned.
4. Drain on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. Mix the plum sauce with the lime juice and serve with the warm bacon and crab bites.
Now, if something like this recipe fits in with your menu plans, you should give these a try ... I think you'll be glad you did ...
All the best Jan