Variations on Crab and Wasabi

I promised to post recipes for some of the dishes from the Fel Iron Chef competition, so here they are! You may be able to tell the difference in styles of the two Chefs by looking them over.

The recipe for the most innovative dish by Chef Poob:

Creamy Wasabi Mustard (Camo Sauce)

2 tablespoon cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoon wasabi
2 tablespoon mayo
3 tablespoon mustard dijon
dash of onion powder
dash of sugar

Crab Poppers

1 large can Poblano peppers

Filling
1 lb crab
2 tbs fine chopped bell pepper
2 tbs fine chopped onion
1/4 cup cracker meal
1 beaten egg
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup milk
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

Breading
2 cups cracker meal
1 cup milk
2 eggs
salt and pepper

cut peppers in half and stuff with filling
bread and dump in boiling hot oil until kitchen bursts into flame

The recipe for the most innovative dish by Chef Orlo:

Crab and Cauliflower Soup (serves 2-4):

Key notions:
We are mixing textures as well as flavors in this dish. The broth is not poured until the very last minute in order to keep the nutty flavour of the cauliflower and the crispy, sweet crab meat distinct and separate. What brings them together is the acidity of the tomato and leek, all under the umbrella of lemongrass and wasabi.

1 head Cauliflower, flourettes chopped into small bits
Fresh Crab meat : 1/2 to 3/4 of however much cauliflower you have
1 glug Olive/Canola Oil
1 glug oil, olive or Canola
1-2 liters vegetable stock or filtered water
1 cup chopped leeks
1 tomato, very thinly sliced (alternatively, you could chop them to cubes half the size of the cauliflower chunks)
3 cloves garlic, roughly crushed
1-2 strands lemongrass, smashed
1 tbsp wasabi paste
1 whole crab (the redder the better, for color and taste. Frozen is OK)

finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Begin to boil water or stock in an appropriately-sized pot

3. In a bowl, dress the cauliflower with pepper and salt, and rub in oil until all pieces are covered and salt and pepper are distributed evenly.

4. Spread cauliflower out on a thin baking sheet and place in the pre-heated oven near the top

This is the fun part:
Smash, Bash and Crush the crab and garlic and optional lemongrass into bits. We won’t be eating these directly; they’ll be flavouring our broth for our soup ( But save the crab claws to snack on while cleaning up)

5. place leeks, crab, smashed garlic, wasabi paste and lemongrass into the water/stock.

6. Let stew for as long as you can. The longer the crab stays in there, the redder (and prettier) the stock gets. Taste periodically to make sure you have the desired amount of salt and wasabi . Start with light salt… you can always add more, but you cant take any away!

7. While the soup is stewing, check on your cauliflower. After about 7-10 minutes, or when your cauliflower is just turning golden brown, spread some of the fresh crab meat onto the same pan, next to the cauliflower. By roasting the cauliflower and crab, we are allowing the more complex carbohydrates to un-tangle, making them more receptive (and sweeter) to our tastebuds. Roasting the crab will also give us some bite for when we put it in the soup.

8. While the cauliflower and crab finish, start preparing your soup bowls. Place one or two of the very thin tomato slices in the bowl and dress it with some of the chopped chives.

9. When the cauliflower and crab look ‘toasted’, pull them out and let them sit for a minute, then place them on top of the tomato in the soup bowls. Notice that we have not added any of our crab stock at this point.

10. When it comes time to eat, serve the bowls of tomato, crab and cauliflower, then gently pour in some of the broth around the edges of the bowl, making an effort not to drown our beautifully toasted crab and cauliflower. Garnish with more chives, if you wish, a stalk of lemongrass or a leftover crab claw climbing out of the bowl would look awesome too.

Possible variations:

Try adding some Thai basil or cilantro at the end, to make more of a pho-flavoured dish. Add some broiled or crispy pan-fried white fish just before you pour the broth for a more seafood-y soup.

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