January 4, 2013

dungeness crab kedgeree

Hey, remember that one time I accidentally bought $40 worth of Dungeness crab meat at Whole Foods? Allow me to explain…

Kedgeree is an English breakfast dish traditionally made with boiled rice, smoked haddock, hard-boiled eggs, cream or butter, and parsley. My first Christmas with my husband’s family in England, my mum-in-law, Gill, made kedgeree, and I fell head over tastebuds in love. To this day, it is one of my very favorite dishes and reserved almost exclusively for Christmas mornings in England.

My darling husband, however, hates kedgeree. He can’t stomach smoked fish before noon, poor thing. So this year, on the morning of our “Portland Christmas” (we flew out to England on Christmas Eve, so we celebrated with my parents on Dec. 23), I decided to make kedgeree with a twist, substituting (Phil-approved) Dungeness crab meat for the smoked haddock and cilantro for the parsley. I went to Whole Foods early and ordered a pound of Dungeness crab from the fish monger, who went to retrieve it from the back. When he handed me a neatly wrapped parcel of succulent crab meat with a big fat “$40 per pound” sticker plastered on top, I seriously considered tossing it on the counter and hightailing it out of there. Thank god I didn’t, because I tell you what, Dungeness crab kedgeree is really something special. Phil loved it, I loved it, and I hope you’ll love it, too.

Gill’s Kedgeree with Dungeness Crab and Cilantro
serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

4 hard-boiled eggs
1 lb dungeness crab meat (or traditional smoked fish like haddock)
1/2 cup uncooked basmati rice
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
4 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper (depending on desired heat)
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Prepare the rice according to package directions.

Cut the eggs into small wedges and carefully combine them with the cooked rice and crab meat in a large bowl. Stir in the cream and season to taste with nutmeg, salt and cayenne pepper.

Using a paper towel, butter a deep, ovenproof dish. Carefully spoon in the kedgeree mixture and dot with blobs of the remaining butter. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes or until heated through and hot. Garnish with the chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with lemon wedges.