I’m not a crab, I’m a crayfish

Txangurro, cangrejo, canguro – crab, crayfish, babysitter.Three words which, up until recent events, I had difficulty distinguishing but which are now firmly imprinted in my mind.

One of the most frustrating things about teaching English at a secondary school is the host of questions which even the most simple of instructions can arouse: ‘Can I write in green?’ ‘Should I write in activities, vocabulary or grammar?’ Deciding that one class in particular needed to learn some initiative I tried to explain to them the difference between teachers and babysitters. But the words became muddled in my mind and I ended up saying ‘No soy txangurro’ (I’m not a crab.) Once the raucous laughter had subsided to giggles I tried correcting myself but ended up making even more of a fool of myself by telling them ‘no soy cangrejo’ ( I’m not a crayfish.) You can imagine how this worsened the situation to the point that it took a good five minutes to calm the hysterical laughter. Let’s just say I’ve learnt the hard way the difference between txangurro, cangrejo and canguro.

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To befit this recent incident I made squid ink risotto with crab. I love the metallic taste of squid ink – to me it really tastes like it’s doing you good. This recipe is very easy to make – the only difficult bit is extracting the crab meat.

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1/2 large onion, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoon olive oil

150g arborio risotto rice

200ml white wine

400ml fish stock

4 x 4g sachets of squid ink

100g butter

1 lemon

2x Necora crabs (or any other kind)

 Serves 2

  1. Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the rice and fry for a minute or so.
  3. Add the white wine and stir as it sizzles until it is all absorbed.
  4. Add 3 sachets of squid ink and mix to combine.
  5. Slowly add one ladle of hot stock at a time. Wait for it to be absorbed before adding the next ladle. This will take around 20-25 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile cook the crabs in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
  7. Then extract the crab meat. You’ll need a knife to crack through the hard shell and tweezers to extract the soft, sweet meat from the thin, bony structures inside the crab. Set the meat to one side.
  8. When the risotto has reached a nice consistency – oozy but not liquid, sticky but not gloopy – add the last sachet of squid ink and the butter. Stir to combine.
  9. Finally stir in the crab meat. Serve topped with lemon zest or accompanied by a couple of wedges of lemon.
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