King crabs are most often eaten as steamed crab legs dipped in butter, but here they're incorporated into a savory beignet, with a nori-laced aïoli for dipping.
Alaskan King Crab Beignets with Aïoli
For the seaweed aïoli
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbs. chopped roasted seaweed, such as nori
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, preferably Maille
- 1 small shallot, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the beignets
- 8 cups canola oil, for frying
- 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 lb. Alaskan king crabmeat, lightly rinsed and coarsely chopped (from about 1 lb. in-shell crab)
- 1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1-1/2 Tbs. sliced fresh chives
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Mixed greens of choice, for serving
Make the aïoli
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the beignets
- Pour the canola oil into a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or heavy-duty pot. Attach a deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the oil to 350°F.
- In a heavy-bottom 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, chicken broth, and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour and nutmeg. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a smooth dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Pulse while adding 1 egg at a time, processing until they become incorporated into the dough, about 30 seconds each. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Fold in the crab, cheeses, and chives. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Fry about 6 beignets at a time, dropping the dough into the pot using 2 tablespoons. Turn the beignets occasionally with a slotted spoon, until they are golden on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Drain on a rack set over paper towels and season with salt as soon as they are removed from the pot.
- On individual serving plates, arrange the beignets on a bed of mixed greens and serve the aïoli on the side.