Dungeness Crab in Aspic with Crab Bisque, Crème Fraîche and Caviar Recipe

  French Seafood

For the Crab in Aspic:
1 - 1 1/2 lb. Dungeness
Crab (fully cooked)
l T Leek
(white part only, washed)
1 T. Butter
8 oz. Fish Stock
1 t. Tomato Paste
1 T Fresh Tarragon
1 Package Plain Knox
Gelatin (1/4 oz.)

For the Crab Bisque:
2 T Olive Oil
Shells from the Crab
2 T Shallots (fine mince)
1/2 c. Onion (fine dice)
1/2 c. Celery (fine dice)
1/2 c. Carrot (fine dice)
2 T Flour
1/4 c. Brandy
1/4 c. White Wine
32 oz. Fish Stock
8 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Garlic Cloves (smashed)
10 Black Peppercorns (cracked)
6 Parsley Stems
3 T Tomato Paste
Salt to Taste
1 c. Heavy Cream
White Pepper to Taste

For the Garnish:
1/2 c. Crème Fraîche
1 oz. Caviar
1 Tomato (skinned and
Fresh Tarragon

Special Equipment Needed:
4 Small 8 oz. Savarin Molds
6"x 6" piece of Cheesecloth
Kitchen String

Procedure for the Crab:
Crack and remove all meat from legs, claws and body of the crab. Discard the spongy gills and stomach. Reserve all shells for the bisque. Break the crab meat up into smaller pieces. Cut the leek into a fine julienne to one inch lengths. Sauté the leeks in butter over medium high heat until tender (about 4 minutes). Rough chop the tarragon and stir into the leeks. Let this mixture cool. Remove 2 of the 8 ounces of fish stock, and stir in package of gelatin to soften for one minute. Whisk the tomato paste into remaining 6 ounces of fish stock and bring to a boil. Stir the softened gelatin into the hot stock and remove from The heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer the liquid to a pourable measuring cup. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add the leek mixture to the crab meat. Evenly distribute the crab between the four savarin molds, making sure not to over pack. Pour the cooled liquid gelatin over the crab mixture to the very top of the molds. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. Before serving, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least half an hour.
For the Crab Bisque:
Break up the reserved crab shells with a kitchen mallet. Heat the olive oil in a small soup pot over high heat. Add the crab shells and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the shallots, onion, celery and carrots and sauté for about three minutes, again stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and add the flour. Stir well. Return to high heat and deglaze with the brandy and white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pot to bring up all the flavors. Add the fish stock and blend well. Heat to a simmer. To make the sachet, lay out the cheesecloth. Place the thyme, garlic, peppercorns and parsley into the center. Bring up all sides and tie with the string. Whisk the tomato paste into the simmering liquid. Taste for salt and adjust at this time. Add the cream and stir well. Add the sachet and bring the sauce back to a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, making sure to press out all the liquid from the shells.
For the Garnish:
Chop the tomato into a fine even dice. Separate the tarragon leaves from the stems.
To Assemble:
Heat a pint of water in a small sauté pan. Carefully lower the base of the savarin mold into the hot water to loosen. Unmold the aspic to the center of a deep dish plate or bowl. Ladle the bisque around the molds. Spoon a generous tablespoon of crème fraîche into the center of each crab mold. Divide the caviar evenly into quarters and spoon atop the crème fraîche. Garnish the bisque with alternating tomato concassé and tarragon leaves. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 4

Dungeness Crab in Aspic with Crab Bisque, Crème Fraîche and Caviar

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