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A Southwest Summer: Southwest Crab Custard

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So the other day when I was enjoying the sunshine from my deck high on a hill overlooking Reno and the various valleys which make up the Biggest Little City in the World, Summer hit me like a bitch-slap at a bordello (not that such a thing has ever happened). My tastebuds began to quiver and my mind began to wander to lovely Summer days I would spend on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. Crab! I must have crab!

This version of Crab Custard is a little different than most. First of all because the last I checked Nevada does not sit along the Gulf of Mexico and in order to get fresh blue crabs, I'd have to gas up the plane I don't own and fly to Alabama without a pilots license -- I don't think the F.A.A. would appreciate that and I don't feel like spending the Summer at Gitmo! So, I've adapted this recipe for the high dessert and the home kitchen.

This is a perfect Summer brunch dish when paired with a chilled white wine and some artisan sourdough French bread!

Ingredients needed to make Southwest Crab Custard (serves 4):

  • 2 1/2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 tsp. minced cilantro
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 lb. lump crab meat (the meat from the body of the crab)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil four custard or ramekin cups.
  2. In a medium saute pan or skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, red bell pepper and garlic and saute 5 minutes.
  3. Into the saute pan stir the mayonnaise, mustard, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, salt, cayenne, hot sauce, beaten egg and crab meat. Let this mixture cook 2 minutes.
  4. Spoon the crab mixture into the prepared custard cups.
  5. Spoon the heavy cream over the crab mixture.
  6. Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

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