Butter poached lobster has to be one of the greatest foods on earth and to me is essential for a Holiday feast. The inspiration for this dish is the classic low-country dish of shrimp and grits, except with a more international flair. Replacing the grits, traditionally made of ground hominy, with Italian polenta, made of course ground corn meal. The sauce is a classic Creole sauce of the holy trinity, the Creole version of mirepoix (peppers, onions and celery as opposed to carrots, celery and onion), with fresh tomatoes, Creole spices and of course our delicious crabmeat to guild the lily.
For this dish I am utilizing the classic French technique of steaming fish, or other items, enclosed in a paper packet. For this recipe I am using a filet of local haddock, a sustainable member of the cod family, with mild firm flesh and a moist texture. The fish is set on a bed of thinly sliced Winter citrus, shaved fennel and julienned leeks, then tightly sealed in parchment. These can be made ahead and should be cooked just before serving and cut open tableside for a dramatic presentation. TO add an extra layer of flavor, dimension and color I added a classic Italian Salsa Verde, a puree EVOO with fresh herbs, anchovies, capers and garlic, with the addition of some of delicious crabmeat to make it extra special and even more delicious. We hope you enjoy.
Caponata is a classic Sicilian antipasto relish dating baked to 1709 which is thought to be of Spanish origins. Caponata is basically a sweet and sour version of the classic French dish ratatouille. The combination of roasted eggplant, fresh tomatoes, red onion and garlic. The flavors are amplified with the sweet and sour flavors of green olives, Sweet golden raisins and bitter capers. I played on the Sicilian tradition of adding seafood to the caponata, sometimes using octopus, lobster, swordfish or even grated dried tuna. For our recipes we are adding our delicious crabmeat, whose sweet, delicate flavors will pair perfectly with the earthy, sweet and sour flavors of the caponata. The addition of toasted breadcrumbs with anchovy paste and garlic add both crunch and an umami punch to the dish. I hope you enjoy.
Want to try something a little different than your average garden variety salad? The sweet anise flavor of roasted fennel paired with bitter and slightly smoky grilled radicchio, peppery arugula, beautifully sweet blood oranges and of course our delicious crabmeat make this Italian inspired salad creation sing.
Oysters Rockefeller are a classic American dish, first served in 1889 at the famed Antoine’s in New Orleans, and one of my favorites. I have taken all the flavors of the classic dish, reworked them, added some crab, did a little deep frying and pureeing and voila, Oyster Rockefeller soup with a crispy (and creamy) crab & bacon croquette.
Jumbo shrimp, which are split and stuffed with a creamy crab stuffing, wrapped in prosciutto and sautéed until crispy on the outside and filled with delicious creamy crab and perfectly cooked shrimp. These are perfect as an appetizer, entrée or to elevate your surf & turf. For a season theme I placed them with on a bed of butternut squash “noodles” with Fuji apples sautéed in brown butter with sage and basil.
A very simple yet cream-less, unique, smooth and creamy corn and leek bisque thickened with rice. Save the crab for the garnish, Sometimes the best use of our crab is to finish the dish, like with this soup, which could easily be exchanged with a premade soup from your favorite brand. Let the crab meat shine and let your guests not only taste the crab but also see it!
One of my favorite crab dishes is crab and corn risotto, except instead of shallots or onions I like to use leeks, their sweet and delicate flavor works extremely well with both the crab meat and the corn. A simple drizzle of some store bought pesto adds a pop of color and flavor. This recipe is to make the risotto, however, if you allow to cool and then cut into portion and sauté crisp on the surface just before serving. I also dust some julienned leeks and dust with a little seasoned flour and fried crisp for some added texture.
Our delicious crab meat is given some Latin flavor in this light and refreshing recipe.
Our favorite crab cake recipe also makes a really great crab stuffing. While everyone does the standard crab stuffed mushrooms or crab stuffed shrimp, we are going a little more unique with a crab stuffed eggplant. Paired with a rustic roasted tomato sauce and finished with a unique, sweet and sour, agro dolce of golden raisins and toasted slivered almonds.