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21st Dinner Club: Puget Sound Crab Feed Menu & Recipes

24-Apr-2006
 
It’s hard to believe but we are into our 4th year of dinner club and are staring our 5th rotation.  Are you wondering how that works?  There are 5 of us but we meet 6 times a year.  You can see some administrative information here and here.  So we do just over one rotation a year.  Last year, near the end of the year we decided to got to a "hurry up offense" – instead of planning one gathering every two months we decided to try to have one every 6 weeks.  By the time we made the decision last year it didn’t have much affect as we hit the holidays and our annual break time.  This year we started with that in mind again and we have our 4th meeting of the year planned for late May.  So it looks like we will get one or two more meetings in this year. 
 
Anyway, since we are back to the beginning it means it’s my turn to host again.  I had been thinking that with all the themes prior to this we’ve done several countries, some US regions and some concepts (A Hunting We Will Go) but we’ve never done anything from our own part of the world!  How could that be?  I decided to pick a theme from Tom Douglas’ book, Tom’s Big Dinners, and not only use that as the theme but also assign the menu.  That was something we had talked about doing early on but it took us this long to actually do it. 
 
This menu worked out as though it had been planned for us; there are five of us and basically five courses.  Perfect!
  • Appetizer:  Charred Squid Skewers on Garlic Toast with Arugula
  • Cocktail:  Sauvignon Blanc Peach Sangria
  • Salad:  Chop Salad with Corn, Snap Peas and Bacon
  • Main:  Chilled Cracked Crab with Sea Salt Butter and Ginger Mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • Side:  Mac and Cheese Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
  • Dessert:  Blueberry Cornmeal Crostata

Ginger Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise (homemade recipe below)* or good-quality store bought
1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp thinly sliced fresh chives
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine mayonnaise, ginger and chives in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Place the crabs** on a large platter and garnish the platter with a few of the top shells and lemon wedges. Serve with the butter and mayonnaise.

* I have to confess that I tried to make my own mayo and failed miserably.  It was the first time I’ve ever tried to make it. I’m not usually a big mayo fan and so haven’t been that interested before.  But for this meal I really wanted to make it and it just didn’t thicken.  Now I’m challenged to figure out why and this coming weekend will probably find me trying again….. R says she’s had no trouble in the past.  M says she didn’t even try this time (she had the Buttermilk Dressing) as she’s failed in the past, too.  It looks so easy when I see the Food Network chefs do it! ;-)    

 

** The cookbook tells you how to cook your crabs, which I did as I love fresh crab and have cooked it a lot in the past.  It’s not hard at all.  But if cooking the crabs just seems to be too overwhelming for you, head down to the local fish monger and pick up a few from them!

Homemade Mayonnaise
2 large egg yolks (freshy, fresh, fresh eggs!)
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2/3 cup vegetable oil, pure olive oil (not extra-virgin) or a mixture
 

Put the yolks, lemon juice and mustard in the bowl of a food processor. Gradually pour in the oil with the machine running and process until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

 

21st Dinner club:  Puget Sound Crab Feed Summary

 

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