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Crab: Buying, Cooking, Cracking
Crab Louis is one of the most requested crab dishes on the West Coast. There is debate as to its provenance — some claim that it originated in Seattle, while others say that a chef in San Francisco first brought this salad to the table—but everyone agrees that the "king of salads" is the ideal way to enjoy fresh crabmeat.
Serves 4 as a first course or light lunch
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup ketchup
• 2 tablespoons pickle relish
• 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
• 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 4 teaspoons capers, ground to a chunky paste in a mortar or mashed with a fork
• 2 heads butter lettuce
• 1 1/2 pounds fresh crabmeat (3 cups), chilled
• 4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced into quarters
• 2 lemons, each cut into 4 wedges
• Capers for garnish
• In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, horseradish, lemon juice, pepper,
and capers. Whisk until creamy.
• With a paring knife, carefully remove the core from the butter lettuce and open the head, keeping the leaves intact. Divide each head in half. Fan out the leaves of each half on a salad plate.
Mound the crabmeat in the center of each lettuce fan.
Arrange 4 egg quarters and 2 lemon wedges on opposite sides of each plate and garnish each salad with a sprinkling of capers.
Pass the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.
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