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Blue Crab “Gratin”


Sherry Cream

1 quart heavy cream

3 large shallots

3 cloves garlic

1 cup sherry


18 stalks asparagus

5 red radishes

½ cup white wine vinegar

To Plate

1 pound jumbo lump blue crab

6 teaspoons Paddlefish caviar

1 ounce Manchego cheese, grated

6 slices Manchego cheese (sliced across the diameter of the wheel)


For the Sherry Cream

  1. Slice shallots and garlic.
  2. In a medium saucepan, gently sauté shallots and garlic until translucent.
  3. Add sherry and reduce over medium heat until sherry is nearly evaporated and mixture is syrupy.
  4. Add cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover, then allow to steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  5. Strain and cool completely.

For the Garnish

  1. Remove the stem from asparagus to make 1-inch spears (reserving stems for another use).
  2. Remove the stem and root end of radishes and cut each radish into four pieces.
  3. In a small sauté pan, combine radishes and vinegar and cook over medium high heat until vinegar is nearly evaporated.
  4. Add ½ cup of water to pan and repeat process. When water is nearly gone, taste a piece of radish. It should be tender. If not, add more water and continue to cook until tender.
  5. Peel black garlic and slice each clove into three slivers.

To Plate

  1. Pick crab over to remove shells.
  2. Bring 16 ounces of cream to a boil in a medium pot.
  3. Add crab, caviar, and grated Manchego, and stir thoroughly.
  4. Continue to cook until the mixture is shiny and has large bubbles.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide mixture into 6 small wide-rimmed bowls and top each with 3 asparagus tips, 3 braised radishes and 3 slivers of black garlic. Lay a slice of Manchego over the mixture. Using a blowtorch (or your broiler if you’re using oven-safe bowls), brown each until the cheese is translucent and golden brown.
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