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This Month's Recipe:
Peekytoe Crab Salad with Coriander and Cumin in a Carrot Coulis
By Daniel Boulud
From the cookbook Chef Daniel Boulud: Cooking in New York City, by Daniel Boulud and Peter Kaminsky
For the carrot coulis
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
• ¼ cup thinly sliced onions
• ⅓ stalk celery, peeled, trimmed, and thinly sliced
• ¼ medium leek, white part only, thinly sliced, washed and dried
• Spice sachet (¼ teaspoon each of fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, whole white peppercorns, and finely chopped parsley leaves, and 1 pinch of crushed red pepper, tied in cheesecloth)
• 3 cups unsalted chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
• ¾ cup carrot juice, homemade or store-bought, strained
• Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper
• Tabasco sauce
carrot coulis instructions:
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery, and leek and cook, stirring, until the vegetables soften but do not color, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the spice sachet and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until almost all the liquid in the pan has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Discard the spice sachet.
Using a blender, hand-held immersion blender, or food processor, working in batches process the vegetables until smooth. Allow the purée to cool. Measure the vegetable purée in a measuring cup. Add an equal amount of fresh carrot juice to the purée and blend thoroughly. The coulis should coat the back of a spoon. If the coulis is too thick, add more juice. Season the coulis with the lime juice, salt, pepper and a few drops of Tabasco.
For the Cumin-Coriander Mousseline:
*Note: This makes much more than needed but can be reserved for another use.
• 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 large egg yolk
• 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• ½ small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cups heavy cream
Cumin-Coriander Mousseline Instructions:
Put the coriander and cumin seeds into a small skillet and toast over high heat until very fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the spices cool and then finely grind them in a spice grinder.
Whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the vegetable oil. Start by adding the oil in droplets and then when the mixture starts to look thick and creamy, pour the oil into the bowl in a slow, steady stream. Fold in the remaining ingredients, taste the mousseline sauce, and add more salt and pepper, if needed. If the mousseline is too thick, stir in a splash of lemon juice or water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the crab and salad:
• 1 pound Maine Peekytoe or other best-quality fresh crab meat
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 small head frisée, white part only, washed and dried
crab and salad instructions:
Toss the crab meat very gently (you don't want to crush or shred it) with olive oil and a little of the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat with the frisée.
Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of carrot coulis in the center of each shallow soup plate and, using the back of a spoon, spread the coulis into a 3-inch circle. Place a 2 ¾-inch ring mold in the center of the coulis. Divide the crab meat among the molds and top each with a small spoonful of mousseline. Carefully remove the ring. Finish with a bouquet of frisée and serve immediately.