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Fish 4 Friday: Dungeness Crab That’s So Good the Devil’s Ashamed…

This entry is part of a series, F4F 2012»


Yep, it’s a new year, and time for some fish dishes! Gotta get warmed up, Lent is just around the corner

We’re in the middle of crab season, and plenty of restaurants are offering tantalizing meals to entice you to spend your smackerels on their, er, mackerel. (Sorry, that slipped in there somehow. The Elves won’t let me remove it, though.) You can make their dishes at home, though, and save on the cost and the hassle of going out into the cold, cold winter to satisfy your shellfish cravings.

Here’s a way to make Devilishly Good Deviled Dungeness:

  • 2 pounds fresh Dungeness meat, picked over to remove any last bits of shell and cartilage; refrigerate on ice
  • ¼ cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 ounces light olive oil or clarified butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups milk (low-fat will do; skim won’t); more or less as needed to make a nice white sauce
  • 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A couple dashes each of ground white pepper and cayenne pepper powder
  • A few drops of hot sauce (Crystal, Bufalo, Sriracha), to taste
  • 2 eggs, beaten in a small bowl
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (flat-leaf preferred, though I like the taste of the curly stuff)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 6-8 tablespoons breadcrumbs (Italian work well; Panko are a nice variation)

Heat oven to 350° F (180° C). In a large skillet, sweat the onion in the olive oil over medium heat. Blend in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes to remove the floury taste.  Add milk gradually to make a white sauce; cook over medium (or medium-low) heat until thick, stirring constantly. Don’t rush this step or you’ll get onion-flavored glue!

Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, cayenne and hot sauce to the beaten egg and stir a bit. Work the egg mixture into the white sauce, stirring constantly over medium-low heat to prevent scrambling the eggs.  Add the parsley and crabmeat; blend well. Place the crab mix into small, greased ramekins (4-6 ounce capacity). Blend the butter and breadcrumbs and sprinkle across the top of the deviled crab. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.

Depending on how big you make the portions, this can serve as few as six diners or as many as twelve (an early course portion for a nice dinner party). Or you can eat it all yourself and blow your diet completely away…

Enjoy the (Fish 4 Friday Returns) Heat!


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