1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Chuck Hughes Dungeness Crab Salad with Crackers

| posted Wednesday, Jul 31st, 2013

Prep 30 min plus 2 hours for rising × Cook 25 min × Serves 4

Crackers (makes about 50 crackers)
4 cups (1 L) warm water
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 mL) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) sea salt
About 8 cups (2 L) all-purpose flour
Sesame seeds and/or coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Dungeness Crab Salad
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarse salt
1 bottle (2 oz/57 mL) hot pepper sauce
4 live Dungeness crabs
1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped
A handful of fresh chives, minced
A handful of celery leaves
2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 large croutons, crushed
Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the crackers:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the water, olive oil, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let rest for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the flour. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes or until the dough forms a ball. (You can also knead the dough by hand on a floured surface.)

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in size (or refrigerate overnight).

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half very thinly. Cut the dough into long strips and arrange them on the baking sheet close together but not touching. Mist with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds and/or coarse salt and pepper. 

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden all over. Cool before serving. (Crackers keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for 2 weeks.)

For the dungeness crab salad:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the coarse salt and hot pepper sauce. Add the crabs and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain nose end down and let cool.

Peel off and discard the tail. Pull off the legs and claws; set aside. Place each crab on its belly. Push your thumb in where the tail was; grab the top shell in your other hand and peel it off. (You can also use a knife to lever the crab apart.) Drain any excess water from the shell. Discard the eyes, gills, stomach sac, and hard membranes inside the shell. Spoon the meat into a bowl. Clean the top shell; set aside. Crack open the claws and legs and pick out the meat; add to the bowl. Pick through the meat and discard any remaining bits of membrane or shell.

Add the chili, chives, celery leaves, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and croutons; stir to combine. Season with Maldon salt and pepper. Spoon the salad into the cleaned shells. Serve with the crackers.