I’m so tired of eating fresh crab, said no one ever. My Uncle Mark, who I’ve written about before and described as the Paul Hogan of the Oregon Coast and am now going to start calling The Crab Whisperer, gave me two fresh crabs to bring home from the beach this weekend (phew, long sentence). I knew I wanted to make something special with them since I am known to just eat them plain out of the shell. Delicious? Yes! Bloggable? No. Salmon and crab go very well together, and since I had some beautiful wild salmon from Portland Fish Market, I was inspired. An average crab will give you about 1 1/2 -2 C. of crabmeat. This recipe calls for just 1 C. of crabmeat, but reserve a few nice chunks to sprinkle on top. Serves 4-6
- 4-6 pieces of salmon fillet, about 6 oz. each.
- 1 T. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 t. dried dill or 1 T. fresh dill, chopped
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 stick of salted butter, melted and hot
- 3-4 large, fresh basil leaves, 3 for the sauce, and one chopped for garnish
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the salmon fillets on a parchment lined baking sheet so that they aren’t touching. Drizzle them with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and the dill. Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. If they are an inch thick, then ten minutes should be perfect. Thinner than an inch, bake them for less than ten. Meanwhile make the Hollandaise.
In a blender or smoothie maker (a smoothie sized cup is perfect for this if you have one, I use a Ninja) add the egg yolks, lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and two or three basil leaves. Beat for about 5 seconds. Make sure your melted butter is hot out of the pan or microwave. Very quickly dump in the hot butter and immediately turn on the blender. Beat until the mixture thickens, about 30-40 seconds. This method worked well for me. If you are using a regular blender, drizzle the butter in through the feeder tube while the blender is running. Again, continue to blend until the mixture thickens. If you blend too long it will become a thick mayonnaise. Since this recipe uses raw egg yolks, use your judgement about food safety. You can use pasturized eggs if you wish.
Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and stir in the crab, reserving a few pieces for garnish. Heat over very low, gentle heat, just to warm the crab through. The sauce will curdle if it gets too hot. If this happens, don’t panic. You can fix it with a few drops of water and a whisk.
To plate the dish, place a piece of cooked salmon on a plate. Top with a spoonful of the sauce. Place a few pieces of crab on and sprinkle a little chopped, fresh basil on top. Serve right away.
Tip: If you would like to make the sauce ahead, you can keep it warm in a Thermos for up to two hours!