Beer Pairing: Pelican's Kiwanda Cream Ale
Chef: Ged Aydelott
4 pounds fresh Dungeness crabs
Pastry or pie dough for one 9-inch tart
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, chopped
4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
1 fresh tarragon sprig, chopped
11/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, diced
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 pound celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 fresh thyme sprig
Water, as needed
2 cups heavy cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup crème fraîche, for garnish
1/4 teaspoon tobiko roe, for garnish (optional)
Make the tart
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Steam or boil the crabs for 15 minutes. Pick the meat from the crabs, saving the shells to make the broth. Set aside.
2. Roll out the pastry dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan or 9-inch tart pan. Dock the dough with the tines of a fork. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved crab-meat, basil, parsley, and tarragon, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
4. Beat the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper together with a wire whisk.
5. Transfer the crab mixture to the pastry shell and pour the egg mixture over the crab. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the filling is set and the pastry is golden brown.
Make the reduction
1. Warm the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the crab shells, bay leaf, thyme, and enough water to cover the shells. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes to thicken the reduction.
2. Strain the broth and return it to the stockpot to reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Add the cream and reduce to a saucelike consistency. Season with salt to taste and add the lemon juice.
3. Slice the tart into six pieces and serve warm over a shallow pool of the crab reduction. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and tobiko roe, if desired.
Makes 6 servings
The meaty and salty Dungeness crab is a staple of the Pacific Northwest, and its delicate flavor marries beautifully with fresh vegetables and herbs. This recipe pairs well with a cream ale, as the rich sweet flavors of the crab and the buttery crust tie in nicely with the malt in the brew. The beer also lifts up the fresh herbs to dance with the hops. -John Holl