Linda Stanscil of Spokane dropped us a note just before Christmas. She wanted a recipe for Clinkerdagger’s Hot Dungeness Crab Appetizer and wondered if we could get it for her.
One call to Clinkerdagger general manager Lynette Baskins and we had an answer for her: Of course.
Better still? It was already cut down to home-cooking proportions, although it still makes a lot of dip.
Dungeness crab is prized for its sweetness, and a large crab yielded enough meat for the recipe. If it’s not available, any kind of crab will work.
A couple of thoughts: If you can’t get whole fresh crabs, go with some of the packaged lump crab meat. I wouldn’t bother with the stuff in a can; it doesn’t have enough flavor.
Also, use either frozen or canned artichoke hearts, not the jarred kind marinated in oil.
Pay close attention to the instructions to spread the dip in a shallow oven-safe baking dish. I put the dip into a 1.5-quart oval baking dish, and it wasn’t nearly cooked enough in 6 to 8 minutes. Try 20 minutes.
So, either cook this in a larger, shallower dish, or divvy it up among smaller dishes, or allow additional cooking time. Most importantly: Watch the internal temperature.
One final note: Not everyone likes the texture presented by mostly raw onions in an otherwise creamy dip. Try taking the onions for a quick trip through a hot sauté pan to soften them up before adding them to the dip.
Clinkerdagger’s Hot Crab Appetizer
1/2 pound king crab meat
2 cups mayonnaise
1 small onion, sliced paper-thin into quarters
1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts
Fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
Chop artichoke hearts into 1/4-inch pieces; drain well. Drain crab meat well.
Combine all ingredients and mix. Place in an oven-safe shallow baking dish and heat in a 350-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until internal temperature is 140 degrees.
Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with assorted breads.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings.
While Stanscil had me on the line, she asked another question. Could I find, she asked, a recipe for a Monte Cristo sandwich?
“Any particular Monte Cristo?” I replied. No, she said. Just a Monte Cristo.
Easier said than done. Turns out the Monte Cristo sandwich is one of those that varies from region to region and all have their ardent fans.
Some are wholly battered and fried. Some are served with just the battered and fried bread. Others are simply grilled.
Here’s a fun tidbit from Wikipedia.org: “The first well documented appearance of the Monte Cristo sandwich is on the menu of the now-defunct Monte Cristo Hotel in Everett, in the late 1920s.”
Huh. Who knew?
I turned to allrecipes.com for an answer to Sanscil’s question and found it, in the form of this highly rated recipe.
Traditionally, Monte Cristo sandwiches are deep-fried, dusted with powdered sugar and served alongside a berry preserve for dipping. Several allrecipe reviewers, wanting to avoid the clogged arteries sure to accompany a deep-fried meat and cheese sandwich, opted to simply pan-fry the sandwiches instead.
All reported great success. So I’ll leave the final cooking technique up to you.
Monte Cristo Sandwich – The Real One
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 slices white bread
4 slices turkey
4 slices ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Berry preserves for dipping (optional)
Heat 5 inches of oil in a deep-fryer or large pan to 365 degrees.
While oil is heating, make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper; whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Assemble sandwiches by placing one slice of turkey on one slice of bread, a slice of ham on another, then sandwich them with the Swiss cheese in the middle. Cut sandwiches into quarters, and secure with toothpicks.
Dip each sandwich quarter in the batter so that all sides are coated. Deep fry in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides.
Remove toothpicks and arrange sandwiches on a serving tray. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving. Serve with berry preserves for dipping, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings.