Thursday, July 25, 2013

From Sea to Table....Citrus Beurre Blanc and Dungeness Crab

This summer got off to a great start back in May, and the good weather shows no sign of relenting. One of the many benefits of living here in the Pacific NW, is the abundance of fresh food, either straight from the farm, or from the sea.
It is crabbing season here on Vashon, so I bundled my crab pots into the back of the Subaru, together with some stinky crab bait and one small complaining child, and set off across the Island to Dockton Marina.  With the boat loaded, we set off into Quartermaster inlet to set the pots. The fog was just starting to clear and the boats' masts glistened in the sharp early morning sun as we tipped the baited pots overboard. We would return later that afternoon to check our catch.

You can only keep males and only above 6 inches in diameter, so we selected the keepers and tossed the rest back. Cleaning them on the boat is easy and means you don't have as much stuff to lug back to the car. I couldn't get a shot of how this is done, as holding a large crab who is trying to snip your fingers off, and taking a photo at the same time is not a sensible thing to do.

With our catch of 5 per person secured and cleaned, we set off home to prepare for dinner.

This evening, we will be serving fresh Dungeness Crab with a Citrus Beurre Blanc, washed down by our Viognier. The North facing deck is the perfect spot, with a wonderful view up the North Sound. It doesn't get used much, on account of the winds that whip up in the late afternoon, but tonight will be just perfect.

Beurre Blanc is easy to make, can be prepared well in advance (just warm it up to serve), and tastes delicious.
Here is my twist on it.

2/3 small white shallots
8 oz of white wine
2 oz lemon and lime juice (keep some of the zest for garnish)
1 Tbs heavy cream
12 Tbs (stick and a half) of cold unsalted butter cubed
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf


Finely dice the shallots and add all ingredients (except for the butter) to a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
Reduce by half.

Reduce the heat to low/med and start to incorporate the butter, cube by cube, whisking continuously to prevent it from curdling.

Once you have incorporated all of the butter, strain through a fine sieve and set aside somewhere warm until you serve it. Season to taste.

You can serve in individual portions like this (just make sure you serve on a warm plate as the butter will set if it is cold;

 or family style like this.

Here, I also added some Mayonnaise Aioli as an alternative accompaniment.

You can experiment with the amount and type of citrus. It really is a personal taste. Just remember not to heat the sauce too much when adding the butter or it will split.
This is also wonderful with Scallops, Halibut, and many other wee fishies.

Have a go.


  1. Looks and sounds amazing. Thank you very much for sharing. I love the background of your blog, it is beautiful.

  2. Looks and sounds amazing. Thank you very much for sharing. I love the background of your blog, it is beautiful.

    1. Thanks Linda, I hope you can come back regularly. I appreciate your visit.


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