Let me begin by saying: I am not much into cutesy.
Crab is everywhere right now: fresh boiled crab legs served simply with butter, crab omelets, and something called "Tabby's Crabby Patty." Please note that the last one is at one of the best restaurants in town.
It may be very good, but I can't get past the name.
Summer in Alaska is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to fish and shellfish. I won't claim that crab is cheap here, per se, but you can get decent deals on fresh frozen crab legs. It's a luxury item that's brought back down to earth a little, at least for special occasions.
David and I were invited to a potluck of sorts at a friend's house on the Fourth of July. Since the Fourth was in the middle of the week, I was feeling anxious about being out of the office, plus I was a little sunburned (not a good look for me--and I'm vigilant with sunscreen!) and generally cranky. I didn't feel like making that much of an effort, to be honest, but I'm too persnickety to take food that I'm less than proud of to a potluck.
Enter this luxe-looking spread, which looks more complicated than it is. It takes maybe fifteen minutes to put together, and that's only because you have to shell the crab. I've tweaked the recipe from how it is originally written because the crab/butter ratio was off. Also, learn from my mistake and chop the crab a bit finer than you see here.
As an aside, I had a great time at the potluck. Sometimes it's just hard to leave the house to socialize when I'm in a mood, but I'm always good when I get there.
Before I get to the recipe, don't forget to comment to win a bottle of very good olive oil, my treat--just go here and leave a comment. I'll randomly choose a comment left by 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Potted Crab Spread
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, April 2012
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tbsp. cooking sherry
1/2 cup good quality unsalted butter, softened
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
6 oz. lump crabmeat, chopped coarsely but in relatively small chunks
Fresh chopped parsley (optional, but would give it great color)
Boil lemon juice and sherry in a small pan over medium-high heat; it should reduce to just over a tablespoon. Set this aside and allow it to cool.
Makes about one and a half cups of spread.