The flavorful shellfish stars in these tasty dishes.
One bite of Crab – briny, sweet and succulent – and it’s easy to see why seafood lovers can’t get enough of this varied shellfish. Three San Diego chefs share their favorite recipes.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
During king crab season, Derek McCarthy, executive chef of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in La Jolla, often adds this dish to the menu. An easy to prepare entrée, this herb and heat-flecked dish celebrates the fresh flavors of this prized shellfish.
Alaskan King Crab Scampi (pictured above)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
2 tablespoons finely diced onions
3 tablespoons diced tomatoes
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup white wine
2 fresh Alaskan king crab legs, shelled
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt as needed
1. Heat olive oil in pan. Add the garlic and onions and brown lightly.
2. Add tomatoes, lemon juice and white wine and simmer for two minutes.
3. Add crab leg meat and heat until it is hot, about two minutes.
4. Remove the crab mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer to hot serving plate. Cover to keep warm while preparing the sauce.
5. Add butter, basil and red pepper flakes to the sauce in pan. Season with salt to taste.
6. Simmer the sauce for two minutes. Pour over and around the crabmeat and serve immediately.
Since Sally’s opened behind the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego (now under new ownership), this tasty appetizer, dense with jumbo lump crab seasoned with a lemon-fresh aioli, has been on the menu. Chef Laura De Martin suggests pairing it with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Sally’s Signature Crab Cakes with Caper Remoulade and Tomato Relish
Serves 6 as an appetizer
1 pound lump crabmeat
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco
Lemon-Pepper Aioli (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup panko breadcrumbs (divided use)
1. Combine the ingredients except ¼ cup of the Panko breadcrumbs in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
2. Make six crab cakes, dividing the mixture evenly among them. Dust each cake with remaining Panko breadcrumbs.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan on low to medium heat and sauté the crab cakes until golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels.
2 extra-large egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ clove roasted garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups of blended oil (1 cup olive oil and 1 cup canola oil)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1. Combine the egg yolks, mustard and roasted garlic in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice and pulse to combine.
2. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow drizzle so that a thick creamy emulsion forms. Add the lemon zest and thyme and pulse to combine. And the pepper and salt to taste.
2 teaspoons capers
2 teaspoons roughly chopped French gherkins
1 anchovy fillet, roughly chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
Juice from ½ lemon
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1. Combine capers, pickles and anchovy in a food processor. Pulse to chop and combine. Remove and place in a small bowl.
2. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped in a ¼-inch dice
3 teaspoons minced red onion
¼ teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
Olive oil to coat
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
Divide the caper remoulade among six plates,
placing it in the center. Place a crab cake on top. Top each crab cake with tomato relish and serve.
Truluck’s La Jolla
This elegant seafood salad by Nick Shinton, executive chef of Truluck’s La Jolla, is flavored with a bounty of late summer’s sweet tomatoes, pears and beets. Serve it on a warm September night with a chilled sauvignon blanc.
Crab and Shrimp Stacked Salad
4 ounces jumbo lump crab meat
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons mayonnaise4 tablespoons gold beets, blanched and diced
4 tablespoons diced blanched pears
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chives, finely chopped3 tablespoons garlic and herb Boursin cheese
2 tablespoons seeded julienned cucumber2 tablespoons watermelon radish, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons Newman’s Own Lite Sun Dried Tomato Dressing (divided use)
6 ¼-inch slices of Roma tomatoes
10 small shrimp (61-70 count), poached and chilled
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, reduced by 2/3 and chilled.
Crackers or flatbread
1.In a small mixing bowl, combine crab meat with olive oil, lemon and mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2.In another small mixing bowl, combine beets with pears, hazelnuts, chives and goat cheese. Set aside.
3.Toss cucumber and radish with 3 tablespoons
of the sundried tomato vinaigrette and set aside.
4.Place two 2 ¾ inch ring molds on the bottom of two chilled salad plates. Place tomato slices in overlapping concentric circles. Season with salt and pepper.
5.Spoon the beet-pear mixture over the tomatoes, dividing it evenly between the two molds. Pack tightly.
6.Divide the crab mixture between the two molds and pack tightly. Top the crab with a single layer of shrimp.
7.Remove both ring molds. Top each salad with the dressed cucumber and radish mix.
8.Using a spoon, spoon the remaining vinaigrette around the base of each salad. Drizzle each plate with the balsamic syrup. Serve with crackers or flatbread.