Charm of the Norfolk coast – part 2

After Wells Beach we drove east along the coast towards Cromer. I would say it’s definitely the most uptown in the local region.

Crab cakes at the Rocket House Cafe. These were bursting with flavour of crab. You know how most places bulk up their fish/crab cakes with lots of potato? Well these were just filled with crab and plaice and so delicious. Two of these certainly weren’t enough! That salad looks pretty innocuous but it was very fresh, crisp and a perfect foil to the rich crab cakes. It had grated white and red cabbages, carrots and celery with some chopped parsley, all thrown together in a vinaigrette dressing. Pretty easy to make and methinks it will be one more for the cooking repertoire!

More crab at Davies Fish shop! Boiled and dressed this time, eaten simply with a fork by the roadside. This shop was very popular and very good value. Then we just wandered around town, popping in and out of gift shops and galleries. The boyfriend was looking for a nice painting by any local artist and we did find one called John Bond who paints delicate pretty paintings of the Norfolk countryside. They were priced accordingly as originals would be so we had to leave them behind.

Cromer pier from the distance

What’s really lovely about living so near the coast is that the residents go out in their boats to fish and sell off whatever the catch of the day is. We stopped by this guy’s house in Brancaster Staithe, walked up the garden path to his shed and bought some oysters for later that night. Very cheap and very good. The boyfriend sustained a minor gash on his hand from shucking them with a small kitchen knife so he’s sworn off them for a while (oysters unfortunately, not knives). That stubborn little oyster had to be binned in the end.

Brancaster Staithe would make a very good seafood stop, it had lots of houses selling shellfish and a lovely fish shop as well, but somehow we kept missing its opening hours. A couple of the houses had a trust system going on where you just grab any bag of seafood on sale and place your cash in a bucket. It’s heartwarming to know that there are still places where things like that work.

As if we didn’t have enough crab for the day, we cooked up linguine for dinner with more dressed Cromer crab bought from Cookie’s Crab Shop at Salthouse. This recipe was modified from Sophie Dahl’s cookbook “Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights”. Cromer crab is also known as edible or brown crab.

Crab Linguine

Serves two

Cooked brown and white meat from one medium Cromer crab

3 tbsp of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced/chopped/crushed

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

Zest and juice from one lemon

Chopped parsley

Linguine for two

Salt to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain.

2. Fry the garlic and chilli in the olive oil until fragrant. If you want it slightly spicy, leave the chilli seeds in or add in some chilli oil.

3. Mix the olive oil mixture, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley and crab with the pasta over the stove to warm it up. Taste and add some salt if needed. It won’t need a lot as the crab will be salty.

4. Serve and tuck in. Simples!

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