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Fresh Dungeness Crab with Two Sauces

Serves: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 (212-pound) cooked Dungeness crabs, cleaned, cracked, and chilled (see below)

Louis Sauce:

  • 12 cup chili sauce, such as Heinz
  • 12 cup mayonnaise
  • 14 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 12 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 14 teaspoon garlic powder

Tartar Sauce:

  • 34 cup mayonnaise
  • 14 cup finely chopped cornichons or dill pickles, plus 2 teaspoons juice from the jar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced capers
  • 1 teaspoon grated yellow or white onion
  • 12 teaspoon green peppercorn mustard or Dijon mustard
  • Salt


Procedures:

When I was growing up in Oregon, my family frequently went crabbing, often catching our limit of the plump Dungeness crab that are so prolific in Northwest waters. What a treat to eat our fill on those wonderful summer evenings. The crabs can be served hot, warm, or ice cold; the favorite in my family is cold with these two sauces. The first is similar to the traditional dressing for Crab Louis, with a bit of kick from horseradish; the second is a flavorful twist on tartar sauce. My husband still prefers a good classic cocktail sauce, which I’ll purchase and embellish with extra horseradish and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
If you have enough small dishes, it’s nice to serve each person their own portion of each sauce to have on their plate for easy dipping. Be sure to have crab crackers and seafood picks for each guest, to make easy work of picking the meat from the shells.


  1. For the Louis sauce, stir together the chili sauce, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, horseradish, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  2. For the tartar sauce, stir together the mayonnaise, cornichons and juice, parsley, shallot, capers, onion, and mustard in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  3. Mound the chilled crab pieces in large serving bowls or on a large platter to pass at the table. Pass the sauces separately, or serve in individual bowls for each guest. Have 2 large bowls on the table for discarded shells.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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