Dungeness crab play to sell-out valley crowd

Dungeness crab await packing and shipping at Hallmark Fisheries in Charleston. / AP photo

If your Dungeness ship still hasn’t come in, keep your fingers crossed for fine weather.

Ocean conditions permitting, the guys at Port Orford Sustainable Seafood are planning to unload another 500 crab in the Rogue Valley Friday, Jan. 25. The last lot sold out, so call your purveyor to put in a request, so the fishermen can plan their delivery.

The topic of my latest Season to Taste column in the newspaper’s monthly Joy magazine, Dungeness crab also has been covered plenty in this blog and the pages of A la Carte, mostly by columnist Jan Roberts-Dominguez. There are 64 entries in our online Recipe Box for crab, from soups, salads and sandwiches to pizzas, quesadillas and stuffed mushrooms.

But there’s always room for one more, particularly when there’s a solitary entry for crab dip that was devised for East Coast blue crabs. This one from Pat and Gina Neely, the Memphis, Tenn.-based restaurateurs and television cooking-show hosts, likely was, too. But I’ve never known any seafood dish that wasn’t improved with Dungeness.

HOT CRAB AND MUSHROOM DIP

Melt 1⁄2 stick butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1⁄2 pound mushrooms, roughly chopped; 3 cloves garlic and 1 shallot, all peeled and finely chopped. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid cooks off and shallots are tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1⁄4 cup flour; cook, stirring, until flour reaches a light-blond color, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 2 cups half-and-half; stir until sauce thickens.

Pour in 1⁄4 cup dry white wine. Stir in 1 cup shredded fontina cheese and 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese by handfuls until cheese melts. Fold in 12 ounces crabmeat and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Season with dashes of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture into a 11⁄2-quart casserole dish. Bake at 425 F until bubbly and golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot with toasted pita points, crackers or flatbread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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  • Blog Author

    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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