Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crustacean Celebration: 'Tis the Season to be Crabby

Remember how November here at GSNW was all about mushrooms? Well, that was so last month. Here in the Northwest, December is all about crabbiness…and not because I get all Scroogey about the holidays with its cheery cherubs singing on street corners and jolly decorations and endless recycling of Perry and Bing and Nat.

I loves me the mis.
No, I'm talking about that king of crustaceousness, that most luscious of briny denizens, our very own Dungeness crab. Its Latin name, Cancer magister, means "king crab" and it truly rules this time of year. I'd been hankering to have some since the season opened in mid-November, and last night provided the perfect opportunity.

Ready for its debut.

My brother had raved about a pasta with crab recipe he'd found last year, so I decided that it would be the ideal kick-off to our very own month-long celebration of the crustacean. I hope to learn how to make perfect crab cakes and maybe a few other classics, so feel free add a comment about your favorite dish, or even a recipe if you have one.

Pasta with Crab and Radicchio
Adapted from Tyler Florence, the Food Network

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp. red chile flakes
1 c. dry white wine
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 lb. pasta
1 lb. fresh crab meat
1/2 head radicchio, thinly sliced into chiffonade
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Parmesan for sprinkling
Parsley for garnish

Bring 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

In a 12 to 14-inch deep sauté pan, heat the oil until smoking. Add the shallots, garlic, and chiles and sauté until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, then add the butter, and remove from heat. Cook the pasta in pot of boiling water according to the package instructions, until just al dente, and drain.

Add the drained pasta to the pan with the wine mixture and return pan to heat. Add crab, radicchio, and scallion and toss until radicchio is wilted, about 1 minute. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the top. Pour into a warm serving bowl, sprinkle with a bit of parmesan and parsley and serve.

Check out these other examples of the crabby-licious goodness that is the Crustacean Celebration at GoodStuffNW: hot artichoke and crab dip; killer crab cakes; crab crostini; and a company-worthy crab-filled cioppino.


Cathy said...

This looks so delicious, Kathleen. Dungeness crab is one of my favorite foods. I'll definitely try this recipe. I've posted several of you want to check them out, all tried and true favorites.

Cathy said...

Here's the link if you would like to check it out

Kathleen Bauer said...

Wow…thanks, Cathy! I'll be happy to throw myself on that crabby sword.

Here's the link Cathy mentioned.

Norma Cravens said...

Oh, but the truffles, the hedgehogs, the black know they are still calling you! They want to jump into your lobster chowder....

Norma Cravens said...

oops, I mean soon we forget!

Kathleen Bauer said...

I'm coming by! (And I know you've got a recipe, Norma…)

Norma Cravens said...


2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 russet potatoes, diced into ½ cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ cup yellow onion, diced into small pieces
¼ cup celery, minced
¼ cup leeks, chopped
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, coarsely chopped
10 ounces of lump crabmeat


Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the garlic, onion, celery, leeks and mushrooms in butter until the onion is translucent. Add the sherry and cook for 2 minutes longer.

Add the chicken stock, raise the heat to medium high and bring to a low boil. Blend the arrowroot with enough cold water to form a thick slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the stock while whisking gently, and return to a boil until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.

Add the potatoes to the stock and again bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender. This should take between 20 and 30 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and cream and return to a boil briefly. Remove from heat.

Divide the crabmeat into 8 heated bowls, then add the hot soup and serve.

Kathleen Bauer said...

And you know how I love chowder…thanks so much!