Friday, August 03, 2012

Crab Imperial with Red Peppers

 I LOVE CRAB!!!  And I LOVE CRAB IMPERIAL!  I posted my traditional crab imperial recipe made with mayonnaise a while back, a quick and easy way to prepare this rich dish.  Last night, I wanted to try something a little different.  I came across a recipe in Food and Wine that was prepared without mayo.

 The sauce was more of a hollandaise sauce prepared with butter, eggs and lemon juice.
 I first picked through the crab removing any shells.
 I then prepared a béchamel sauce by melting 2 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. I stirred in 2 tablespoons flour to make a paste. I gradually whisked in 1 1/2 cups milk until smooth.  I used skim milk since that is all I had and it was fine and saved some fat and calories.  I simmered the sauce, whisking until the sauce thickened. I reduced the heat to low and cooked, whisking, about 7 minutes.   I removed the pan from the heat and covered it to keep a film from forming on top.
 I sauteed some chopped onions and then added some chopped red peppers.  In the top of my double boiler, I whisked 2 egg yolks with fresh lemon juice.  I set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and whisked constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes.  I removed the mixture from the heat and slowly whisked in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter until a smooth sauce formed.  I folded in the béchamel sauce and lemon zest, and seasoned with salt, pepper and hot sauce. 
In a separate bowl, I gently combined the crabmeat, onion and bell pepper and then folded in the sauce.  The original recipe recommended to broil the crab imperial in a 9X9 pan, but I chose to prepare mine in my scallop shells, I think it presents better.  I broiled the crab on the upper rack for 3 minutes, until browned. Transferred them  to the lower rack and broil for 4 minutes longer, until hot throughout.    Wait until you see what I did with the leftovers!

  Crab Imperial with Red Pepper
1 stick unsalted butter—6 tablespoons melted, plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Hot sauce, such as Crystal or Tabasco
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over 
In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the flour to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth and simmer, whisking, until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking, until no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes. Season the béchamel with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from the heat.

In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until thickened, 2 minutes; remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter until a smooth sauce forms. Fold in the béchamel and lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Preheat the broiler. Set one rack 6 inches from the heat and another rack 10 inches from the heat. Butter a 9-by-9-inch ceramic baking dish. In a bowl, combine the crabmeat, onion and bell pepper. Gently fold in the sauce. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Broil on the upper rack for 3 minutes, until browned. Transfer the baking dish to the lower rack and broil for 4 minutes longer, until hot throughout.


Miss Messy said...

Wow this looks tasty :)

Laurie Dominguez said...

This looks delicious. I love crab but never cook with it. This seems like a simply enough recipe to start cooking with crab. Thanks!

Ellen B Cookery said...

What a wonderful recipe! I need to go into the city for some fresh crab meat! I need to make this...YUM!

Medeja said...

Looks so delicious! I don't think I would have any leftovers :))

The Red Apron said...

My Mom used to make something similar to this!
Yum!!! I think I will have to try your recipe.

drick perry said...

I would certainly love a side of this accompanying just about anything... I make a very similar sauce of crab meat to top beef fillets and flounder... I will be watching for your idea...

Cucina49 said...

It's high season for crab here, and this looks fabulous! I will give this a try.

Lauren said...

this looks amazing! not to mention those sea shell bowls are adorable!!

Carrie's Experimental Kitchen said...

Good morning, I featured this recipe on my blog today for my weekly seafood round-up. It looks great, thanks for allowing me to share! Here is the link: