Crab Leg Saute' in Cranberry Orange Beurre Blanc Print Email

Senior Chef Bill King of McCormick and Schmick's in Portland, Oregon , earned the title of Oregon Seafood Chef of the Year in 1988 with this recipe. The use of spaghetti squash as an accompaniment makes an easy yet striking presentation. The extra preparation time is repaid handsomely with a delicious entree.

1/2 cup beurre blanc (recipe below)
1 orange, juice and segments
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
pinch salt
2 T butter
8 oz. Dungeness crab leg meat
12 whole hazelnuts, toasted and peeled
2 T avocado balls, scooped with a melon baller
3 T whole cranberries cooked in a little water until they pop

Preheat oven to 350°

Prepare beurre blanc and reserve.

Using a sharp parring knife, peel the orange making sure to remove all of the white pith. Cut the orange segments from between the membranes and reserve. Then squeeze what is left of the orange and its membranes to extract the juice. Reserve the juice and segments.

To cook spaghetti squash: split 1 squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place it in a baking dish, cut-side down, add 1 cup water and bake for 1 hour or until soft. Remove and run slow running cold water over the cooked squash to cool. Drain, cut side down on a towel.

When the squash has cooled and drained, use a dinner fork to scrape out the pulp. It will string and look like golden strand of thin spaghetti.

Place 2 cups of the cooked squash in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and dot with 1 T butter. Put in oven to heat while you prepare the crab.

Melt 1 T butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add crab legs and hazelnuts. Heat for 1 minute. Add avocado, orange segments, orange juice and cranberries. Cook for 30 seconds and remove from heat.
Remove squash and create nests on two dinner plates. Spoon crab into the center of each nest and arrange some of the cranberries and hazelnuts on the squash as a garnish. Pour the sauce over all.

Approximate preparation time: 1 1/2 hours to cook and cool the squash. 20 minutes for the remainder of the preparation. - Senior Chef Bill King of McCormick and Schmick's in Portland, Oregon

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