Spider crab for Christmas with a glass of champagne, what else?

CANNES: Whether you are cooking yourself for your loved ones or prefer to dine at a chic restaurant like most of the French will do for Christmas Eve, one thing is certain, it has to be something special that night.

We asked chef Jean Camos, who is cooking together with Christian Sinicropi at the famous Palme d’Or in Cannes, for a unique but still easy enough to prepare by yourself dish for Christmas Eve and added a shopping list so half of the preparation for a glamorous night is already done. Follow IRMA to the Marché Forville in Cannes or wherever you are and invite your best eight friends for a feast they will remember.

L'araignée de mer © Jerôme Kelagopian
L’araignée de mer © Jerôme Kelagopian

Recipe for 8 people

4 spider crabs
1 head of coriander
2g of curry powder
2g of turmeric
3 sheets of filo pastry
100g of butter
50g of clarified butter
50g of icing sugar
1 Kaffir lime
2 fennel bulbs
1 shallot
1 white onion
2 long peppers
6 eggs

Take the crabs and remove the legs from the body and make a crab stock using the shallot, white onion, fennel, carrot and long peppers. Leave to cook for between 1 and 2 hours.

Remove the crabs’ legs and heads to be shelled and filter the stock through a strainer. Keep the crab meat and the stock to one side.

Make a royale cream with the stock and 4 eggs. Place in small baking moulds and cook in the oven at 80°C for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and turn out onto some greaseproof paper.

Make a mayonnaise with the 2 remaining eggs. Add the chopped coriander, curry powder and turmeric. When finished, mix the mayonnaise with the same amount of crab meat.

Brush each sheet of filo pastry with clarified butter, then dust with icing sugar and grated lime zest.

Double cook in the oven at 160°C for 4 minutes.

Arrange the spider crab royale in the middle of a plate. Keep the ring around it so you can place the smoothed crab meat mixture on top. Remove the ring and finally add the filo pastry before serving.


As a special pre-Christmas gift, we have a lunch for two at the famed Palme d’Or restaurant at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes to give away. The voucher for the lucky winner is valid until 31 October 2016. Good luck!

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