Tag Archives: crab

Avocado-Crab Gratinée

Avocado Crab Gratinée

Avocado Crab Gratinée

A few weeks after the amazing California Avocado Commission dinner at One Market, I flew to the south of Spain for a family wedding. We stayed at a small inn about 45 minutes west of Malaga called Hotel Rural La Paloma. Owned and operated by an Italian couple, Philippo and Elena took amazing care of us.

Hotel Rural La Paloma, Spain

The menu at the inn’s restaurant was a great mix of Spanish and Italian-influenced dishes. They were incredibly accommodating as well. My husband is a vegan, and they were happy to prepare separate, off-the-menu dishes for him. While I am moving towards a vegan diet, I took the opportunity to taste a few dishes on the menu that contained dairy and seafood. One of my favorites was “Aguacate relleno de pulpa de cangrejo gratinado,” or “Puréed avocado stuffed with crab au gratin.” We’ll call it Avocado-Crab Gratinée.

Hotel Rural La Paloma

I couldn’t wait to come home and try to prepare the dish myself. Elena was nice enough to share the recipe with me and both avocados and dungeness crabs happen to be in season right now. This dish is so easy to prepare, you could easily whip it up for weeknight treat for two.

Avocado Crab Gratinée

Avocado-Crab Gratinée

Avocado-Crab Gratinée
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Avocado, crab and cheese. Yum.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe California Grown Avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2 oz lump crabmeat
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler. Cut the avocado in half. Discard the pit, but reserve the skins. Empty the flesh into a microwave-safe bowl. Mash it with a fork it and add salt and pepper, combining well. Add the heavy cream and the crabmeat and mix well with a fork. If the mixture is too thick, add additional heavy cream.
  2. Warm the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture and stir it in completely. Spoon the mixture either back into the two empty avocado halves or into one or two small oven-safe dishes. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top.
  3. Bake under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese has browned slightly. Serve immediately.
Avocado Crab Gratinée

Avocado Crab Gratinée

Dungeness Crab Mac-n-Cheese

Dungeness Crab Mac n Cheese

Dungeness Crab Mac n Cheese

The Dungeness Crab season is in full swing here in the Bay Area and while my appreciation for Dungeness Crab is limited by my upbringing on the Eastern Shore of MD (Chesapeake country, blue crabs), I can’t resist this pale imitation once a year, so when I saw the price had dropped to $5.99/lb at Mollie Stone’s, I jumped. I paid $9.50 for a single crab which yielded about 1 cup of crabmeat.

Last year, I made a crab-picking video which has been playing continuously ever since on my livestream channel. You can check it out here: Livestream.com/StreamingGourmet It’s embarrassing for me to watch and I can’t stand the sound of my own voice, so although I host StreamingGourmet (the blog and video site) I don’t make very many videos. I felt compelled to demonstrate how easy it can be to yank big chunks of crab meat out of the back fin of a crab, though, since it can be a little intimidating. I like to confess that I picked dungeness crab on my very first date with my (now) husband, so if he can fall in love with me with crab juice dripping down my chin and crab meat wedged in my fingernails, then we’ll probably be fine when we’re 65.

Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab

Dungeness Crab Mac-n-Cheese
Serves 3-4

Ingedients
1/2 lb penne
Olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyére cheese
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 cup crab meat
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
a few dabs of butter

Method

1. Prepare penne according to al dente package directions. When drained, toss with a bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together while you prepare the other elements of the dish. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

It’s best if you work on steps 3 and 4 simultaneously. Read them through to see what I mean.

3. In a medium saucepan, slowly bring the cream to a boil. Allow it to thicken and reduce by half, watching carefully not to scald the cream or let it boil over. Turn off the heat and let it cool for about a minute. Then add the cheddar and Gruyére cheeses in small batches, incorporating each batch before adding the next. Try not to over stir the mixture as this could make it stringy. Halfway through adding the cheese, you can pop the heat back on low, but be careful to keep the heat as low as possible while still promoting the melting process. Heat that is too high will cause the cheese fats to separate from the proteins. If that happens, there’s no going back. After the last batch of shredded cheese is incorporated, add salt, pepper and nutmeg to the sauce. Turn off heat and let sit, stirring occasionally.

4. While the milk is simmering and reducing, (before you are melting the cheese into it) prepare the other part of the sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sautée until onions are softened, but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer to reduce wine by half, about 15 minutes. Add crab meat and continue to simmer until wine has reduced by half again. Remove from heat.

5. Stir the wine & crab meat mixture into the cheese sauce until fully combined. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. (You could also prepare this dish in individual serving-sized gratin dishes). Add pasta to the casserole dish and then pour the wine/cheese sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Top with bread crumbs. Dab with butter and sprinkle Parmesan cheese across the top.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly. If the top is not browned by the end of the baking process, stick it under the broiler for a few minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then enjoy immediately.

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