Cracked Dungeness Crab Salad

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Cracked Dungeness Crab Salad with chilled leeks and asparagus and mustard mousseline
Recipe By: Chefs Anne and David Gingrass
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • Serves8 appetizer or 4 Entree


  • Crab and vegetables:
    • 2 each Dungeness crabs, live (about 2-1/2 lbs. )
    • 8 each Small leeks, about 1/2" to 3/4" in diameter, white part and about 1" of the green with roots cut off
    • 20 each Small asparagus spears, cut to about 6" and peeled if needed
  • Mustard mousseline:
    • 1/2 cup Heavy cream (whipping cream)
    • 1/2 each Lemon, zest only
    • 1 Tbl Dijon mustard, smooth
    • 1 Tbl Whole grain mustard
    • to taste Black pepper
  • Vinaigrette:
    • 2 each Fresh shallot, peeled and minced fine
    • 2 tsp Whole grain mustard
    • 1/2 tsp Lemon zest
    • 2 Tbl Lemon juice
    • 2 Tbl Champagne vinegar
    • 1/2 cup Virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbl Chopped fresh chervil (reserve four nice sprigs for garnish)
    • to taste Salt and pepper


Crab and vegetables
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. While the water is heating, fill a second pot with cold water and ice. Blanch the asparagus until bright green and slightly softened (about three to five minutes depending on thickness) then plunge the spears into the ice water to stop the cooking. Next, blanch the leeks in the same way (boil for seven to ten minutes or until the leeks become soft and very light green in color) and chill them in the ice bath. Finally, cook the live crabs by boiling them for fifteen minutes then cooling them in the ice bath. Refrigerate the crab and vegetables until ready to assemble the dish.

Mustard mousseline
Pour the whipping cream into a cold bowl and whip with a wire whisk, by hand, until the cream becomes thickened. Stop whipping before the cream forms soft peaks. Slowly whisk in all of the other ingredients and add pepper to taste. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

In a suitable bowl, combine the shallots, mustard, lemon zest and juice, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil and finish with the chopped chervil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve until ready to assemble dish.

Prepare the crab by removing the outer shell and the soft roe inside. Rinse the body cavity with cold water if necessary. Next, separate the right and left sides of the body by cracking them apart. Using a knife, separate each body segment from the next, leaving the leg segments attached. Crack the shell of each leg segment with the back of a knife, exposing the meat then, arrange them around each of four plates with the body segments at the base of the plate. In a suitable bowl, toss the vegetables in the vinaigrette and fan them across the plate, alternating asparagus and leeks. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables and crab. Place a dollop of the mousseline in the center of each plate and garnish with the chervil sprigs.

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