Poached Alaskan King Crab Salad
Recipe from Chef Curtis Duffy in Made in America: Our Best Chefs Reinvent Comfort Food, by Lucy Lean
Makes 4 servings
For the Citrus Stock:
2 lemons, halved
2 limes, halved
2 oranges, halved
2 grapefruit, halved
2 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 bottle white wine (or 12 ounces of white grape juice)
2 quarts water
2 Alaskan King crab legs
For the Sugar Tuiles:
1/2 cup fondant
1/2 cup glucose
1/2 cup isomalt
For the Cucumber Consomme:
1 seedless cucumber
1 tablespoon simple syrup
For the Floral Cream:
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1 1/2 teaspoons agar agar
For the Calamansi Puree:
3 calamansi fruit
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, use as needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Pickled Cucumbers:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 seedless cucumber
Golden char roe
Tangerine lace (or lemon thyme or lemon verbena)
1/2 red jalapeno, cut into fine strips
Fleur de sel
Shichimi togarashi (optional)
Make the Citrus Stock:
1. Put all of the citrus fruits and kaffir lime leaves with the white wine (or white grape juice) and water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Cool, then strain the stock and return it to the pot.
Make the Poached Crab:
1. Bring the citrus stock to a boil over high heat. When the stock begins to boil, add the crab legs and reduce the heat to medium. Allow them to simmer for about six minutes. Take the crab legs out of the water, rinse in cold water and let cool.
2. Carefully remove the meat from the shells and slice into 1/2-inch pieces.
Make the Sugar Tuiles:
1. Heat the fondant, glucose, and isomalt to a hard crack stage (300 degrees Fahrenheit) in a small pan. Pour out the mixture onto a nonstick silicone mat and let cool.
2. Place the hardened sugar into a blender and blend into a powder. Place the powdered sugar into a small chinois and tap out even-layered rounds of sugar onto the silicone mat (on a baking sheet) in the appropriate diameter for the glass serving dishes that are being used.
3. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit then place the baking sheet with the sugar circles in the oven to melt the circles. Once melted, remove from the oven and cool, then remove from the mat. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Make the Cucumber Consomme:
1. Puree one cucumber with the simple syrup in a blender for 1 minute, then salt to taste. Let the puree rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator, then strain through a cofee filter to remove the pulp. Refrigerate the remaining cucumber juice until cold.
Make the Floral Cream:
1. Combine the half-and-half, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, salt to taste, orange blossom water, and agar agar in a small pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain into a bowl and place into another bowl filled with ice.
2. Once the mixture is chilled and firm, place it into a blender and process to a smooth cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
Make the Calamansi Puree:
1. Blend the flesh of the calamansi fruit until smooth. Sweetened with a bit of sugar until the puree is well balanced. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt.
Make the Pickled Cucumbers:
1. In a small pan, combine the rice wine vinegar, 2 cups of the remaining sugar, and the water and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat and refrigerate until chilled.
2. Cut the second cucumber into small plus (mini cylinders), cover with the well-chilled vinegar mixture, and let marinate for 1 hour.
Assemble the Salad:
1. Place the crab into a serving glass, layer some of the char roe on top, add the cucumber consomme and 2 of the pickled cucumber plugs. Pipe the floral cream and calamansi puree into the bowl and add a few pieces of tangerine lace. Place the “lid,” or sugar tuile, over the top of the glass and add the remaining roe, a few pools of both purees, and tangerine lace. Add the jalapeno, fleur de sel, and togarashi. Serve immediately, and eat by breaking the sugar tuile into the glass.