Monday, May 22, 2006

New England Crab Melts

I can't help but think that this pic will be in the 2050 edition
of The Gallery of Regrettable Food. It's tasty but it just has that look.

Shane is attending a training session in Detroit and the kids are at their mom's place.

I am home alone.


Oh, all right. There are lonely moments. Like when I have to choose which side of the bed to sleep in, and then decide to stay right in the middle. Or how I don't have to continually clean out gobs of toothpaste from the bathroom sink.

But those hardships aside, I'm using this as an opportunity to try some new recipes (among other things...). I'll be focusing on cooking smaller serving amounts: food for either one or two.

To that end, this first recipe has been adapted from the current issue of Everyday with Rachel Ray, entitled "New and Improved New England Crabby Melts" and serves 4. I halved the recipe and changed the name.

This is good. Before tasting it, however, I expected something else so, when I did bit into it, I was a sort of disappointed. I prefer the taste of "traditional" seafood salad flavors: lemon, some bell pepper, a touch of mayo, accentuating that lovely sweetness from the crab. Next time, I'll go with those flavors.

But back to this recipe: there's a bit of heat from the hot sauce and Old Bay, tempered by the English muffin base. The watercress provides a nice backdrop and the Gruyere adds a hit of creaminess. And the crab -- well, crab is always good.

It's very pretty; it would be perfect for a casually elegant spring ladies' lunch. (Served with a nice Chardonnay or, for something a bit stronger, a fizzy lemonade with a touch of vodka?)

New England Crab Melts

1½ jarred roasted red peppers, drained
Salt and pepper
Juice from half a lemon
½ tsp. hot sauce
1½ to 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 oz. fresh crabmeat
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 rib celery from the heart, finely chopped
1 sprig tarragon, leaves stripped and chopped (no stems)
1½ scallions, finely chopped
2 standard-size English muffins, split
Unsalted butter softened, for buttering muffins
1 cup watercress, chopped
½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Place peppers in bowl of food processor and season with the salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and hot sauce, then turn on processor. Add olive oil in a thin stream and process until smooth.

Preheat broiler. Using your fingers, check the crabmeat for bits of shell. In a medium bowl, combine the crab and Old Bay seasoning. Add celery, tarragon and scallions to the crab and toss with the red pepper dressing. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Toast the English muffins under the hot broiler, then lightly butter them. Top with a small handful of watercress, followed by a scoop of the crab salad. Pat down the salad a bit, then top with a handful of cheese. Return to the broiler and allow the cheese to melt, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

Grade: B+ (Higher if I hadn't had that standard seafood salad taste in my head before eating.)


Lis said...

I think it looks fabulous.. I was surprised to see the english muffins! I have hits and misses with Rachel recipes.. but the good thing is she has some good ideas which you can make your own. I look forward to seeing you do this again with the more traditional flavors. I side with a more traditional crab salad flavor, too.

BTW, have I ever mentioned (prolly not cuz I'm a dork) that your little picture is just the cutest pic? :D

Laura Rebecca said...

Thank you ma'am! ;)

Rachel said...

that looks good!