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Not so much of a spring clean but a winter clear out. I have been kindly asked to empty our freezer (as if a freezer full of yummy items isn’t a good thing!). I don’t know if many of you have this problem or maybe everyone does, but it comes to a stage when you look at your freezer and there is literally no room to fit anything else, at all!  We can fit a small human being in ours. It is huge and still no room. So we have been eating a lot of soups and using up all the breads for the last few weeks, and slowly but surely I am making a dent in it. I threw out anything that I couldn’t identify, sadly this included D’s pork chops (which of course have been in their for nearly a year). And as it happens, the day I threw them out, D came home and decided he wanted pork chops.

I didn’t feel bad at all, but I did want to make something nice with the bits and bobs that were still lurking in our top shelf (meat and fish section) and came up with forgive me prawn gratin. Quite easy and it gave me lots of ideas for nice fish pies which I will try out in the next few weeks. I wanted to use crab but didn’t have any crab meat, just claws and then some little prawns. So it was, Prawn gratin and garlicky crab claws. Very tasty, easy and could be made with many different fish or add in whatever veg you might have. Like I say, next time I will make this into a fish pie, by adding some chopped potatoes, and veg (onion, peas, carrots, celery).

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PRAWN GRATIN WITH GARLICKY CRAB CLAWS

Use whatever you have or have preference for. I had small cooked prawns in my freezer that I defrosted before using but you can use king prawns or any fish like crab meat, salmon and so on…

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  • 300 g  prawns,
  • 6-8 crab claws
  • 1/2 litre of full fat milk
  • 3-4 tbsp grated cheese, I used a mix of ardrahan and cheddar
  • plus a little cheese extra to top (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 x 15 g butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped plus more for garnishing (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cream
  • salt and pepper

THE HOW

Start with your gratin. Heat your oven to 180 c (fan oven).

In a saucepan make the bechamel. Heat 1 x 15 g butter. Add the garlic (1 clove), add the flour and mix quickly. It will form a thick paste, add a little drop of milk and mix. Heat for about 30 seconds to cook the flour. Add the rest of the milk and djion and throw in the turmeric and fish sauce. Stir and bring to the boil. Continue stirring throughout as the mixture sticks to the bottom and burns. Once it just reaches boiling point, take off the heat and add in the 3 tbsp of cheese and some seasoning. It should be able to coat the back of a spoon and not run off. If it isn’t thick enough, heat gently for another minute.

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Add the prawns to the sauce and mix. Pour into oven proof dishes ( I used 3 x 250 ml dishes). Sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs and pop into the oven for 15 – 20 minutes until turning golden and bubbling.

If you are making the crab claws then do this about 5 minutes before you take your gratin out of the oven.

Heat the butter (15 g) in a saucepan, add the garlic (2 cloves) and coriander. Stir. Thrown in your claws and season. Gently toss them every minute. At the last minute, add the cream and mix.

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Serve on the side of your gratin.

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