Monday, August 16, 2010

Crabmeat Maison

One of my favorite New Orleans restaurants will always be Galatoires. My list of must-haves from their menu is way too long to actually work into one meal—soufflé potatoes, fried eggplant sticks served with béarnaise and powdered sugar, crabmeat maison, pompano almondine, sautéed softshell crab meuniere, café brulot. This list of my favorites formed when I lived in New Orleans in the early eighties, when I was in my early twenties, and frequented the restaurant regularly. There are a number of dishes on the menu that I might be more inclined to order if I went there for the first time now, but I don’t get there often enough anymore to pass on my old favorites.

Friday lunch at Galatoires was a tradition among my local friends, and I liked nothing better than sneaking out of the office for a long Friday lunch. This past Friday, I found myself alone with some jumbo lump crabmeat that needed to get eaten before I left town for the weekend so I decided to have my own version of their Friday lunch. There are a number of recipes for Galatoires Crabmeat Maison online, so I combined a couple that allowed me to whip up a very elegant lunch in very little time:

Crabmeat Maison

For the “Maison” dressing:

• 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoons Creole mustard
• 3/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• pinch white pepper

Combine the vinegar and mustard. Slowly whisk in olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with the salt and pepper.

For the salad:

• 1/2 cup real mayonnaise (for my quickie version, I cheated and used Duke’s)
• 3 tablespoons dressing
• 3 green onions, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoon small capers, drained
• 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
• 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
• 4 1/2 cups romaine lettuce, chiffonade
• 12 slices of heirloom tomato
• Lemon
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix the mayonnaise, dressing, onions, capers and parsley. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Divide the lettuce into six portions (approximately 3/4 cup each) and top each with two tomato slices. Divide the crabmeat mixture into six portions and top tomatoes and lettuce. Garnish with slices of lemon. Spritz with lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Delicious and decadent.

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