Friday, January 25, 2013

Crab Rolls

Another great drop from Siren SeaSA this week, this time it was a couple of ginormous cooked Dungeness crabs. Although I prefer to work with live ones for many crab recipes, this was perfect for repurposing New England lobster rolls. I based this on a Jacques Pépin recipe from an old cookbook he made with Julia Child back in the 90's, Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home. Although Jacques is a god of French cuisine (and one of my personal culinary heroes), he's lived in Connecticut long enough to make him an authentic New Englander. And they came out wicked tasty - that good enuff fer ya, pally?

I think even they were looking forward to the dinner!

Neither easy nor quick to clean two massive crabs but a good pair of kitchen shears helps

Dressing with the peppers and pimentón

Lettuce and crab meat

Final mix

Baguettes on the grill top

Who needs a panini maker? We gots iron skillets!


2 cups cleaned Dungeness crab meat
3 large butter lettuce leaves, cleaned then chiffonade-ed
1/2 cup crab butter (the brownish-yellow liquid in the body)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 stalk celery, finely minced
1 medium shallot, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Fresh-cracked black pepper
good shaking of pimentón
1/2 pickled padron pepper, finely minced (optional - and only because I had some)
2 baguettes sliced width-wise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

To make the dressing, add the mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, celery, shallot, and lemon juice (and padron if using) to a mixing bowl. Mix and season with the salt, pepper, and pimentón.
In another bowl, combine the chiffonade lettuce with the crab meat. Drop the dressing into the bowl with the crab and lettuce and mix well.
Spread the butter over the open baguettes then place buttered-side down on a preheated stovetop grill pan or a hot iron skillet that can hold them. Cook until the baguettes are browned, about 5 minutes.

Serve the baguettes and the crab mix at the table for diners to put together for themselves.

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