Dungeness Crab with Roasted Corn Salsa | Wine Enthusiast
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A Dungeness crab dish

Dungeness Crab with Roasted Corn Salsa

Courtesy Pat Donahue, executive chef, Anthony’s Restaurants, Seattle

Dungeness crab is a Washington delicacy. This hearty fall recipe from Pat Donahue at Anthony’s Restaurants brings a wonderful richness of flavor, with the crab served over a delicate “soufflé,” or pudding, of cornbread. The combination plays perfectly off a Washington State Chardonnay.

Dungeness Crab Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter
1 cob corn, shucked
2 tablespoons diced red pepper
1½ teaspoons minced basil
1½ teaspoons lime juice
1½ teaspoons orange juice
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
1½ cups crumbled cornbread (ingredients and recipe below)
4 eggs
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
12 ounces Dungeness crab leg meat
4 sprigs tarragon or microgreens, for garnish
2 cups warm Creamy Lobster Sauce (ingredients and recipe below)

Dungeness Crab Directions

Heat oven to 350˚F. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush onto corn. Place on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Hold cob with pointed top turned down against a cutting board. Carefully cut kernels off and add to bowl with red pepper, basil, lime juice and orange juice. Season with salt, to taste. Toss gently to combine. Extra salsa can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Reduce oven to 325˚F. Bring milk to boil in small saucepan over high heat. Add cream, then remove from heat and pour over crumbled cornbread. Set aside until liquid is absorbed. In separate bowl, whisk eggs, 1½ teaspoons salt and pepper. Fold into cornbread mixture. Butter 8×8-inch pan with remaining 2 tablespoons butter, pour in batter. Place in larger roasting pan, and fill roasting pan with enough hot tap water to come halfway up sides of small pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until custard is set in center. Remove from oven and hot water bath to cool. Cut into 4 squares.

Divide cornbread soufflé between 4 plates or shallow bowls. Distribute crab meat among plates. Ladle ½ cup lobster sauce around and on top of soufflé. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons roasted corn salsa around pudding and crab. Garnish with tarragon or microgreens. Serves 4.

Cornbread Soufflé Ingredients

¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
¼ cup corn flour
1½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1¼ cups plus 1½ teaspoons whole milk
1 egg

Cornbread Soufflé Directions

Heat oven 325˚F. In large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix together melted butter, milk and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour into buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Gently flip onto cutting board, to cool.

Creamy Lobster Sauce Ingredients and Directions

In small bowl, combine ¾ cup water, 4 teaspoons lobster base (like Better Than Bouillon) and 4 teaspoons tomato paste. Whisk until well mixed. In medium saucepan, melt 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add 6 tablespoons flour and whisk for 1–2 minutes to make roux. Slowly add 3 cups heavy whipping cream, and bring to boil, whisking to keep flour from sticking to pot. Add lobster base mixture and whisk until combined. Use silicone spatula to get roux out from corners of pot, and whisk well. Stir in ⅛ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon Pernod or Sambuca, 3 tablespoons Lillet Blanc, and salt and pepper, to taste. Use immediately or keep warm in double broiler. Makes about 1 quart.

Wine Pairing

Woodward Canyon 2018 Chardonnay (Washington) is a luxurious wine with lemony acidity that is a perfect counterpoint to the sweet seafood and corn in this dish. A kiss of new French oak adds enough texture to stand up to such rich food, helps compliment the creaminess of the lobster sauce and ensures crab remains the star.

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