Recipe: Dungeness 'Black Pepper' Crab Fritters

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It’s not everyday a chef opens up his recipe notebook and shares his craft. Cook like a chef with this recipe from Chef Jacques Qualin for dungeness ‘black pepper’ crab fritters.

A Few Words from Chef Jacques:
“The base is pâte à choux, which is a classic recipe in France,” Qualin says. “The sauce has a lot of spice, but that’s why you don’t want to use too much. You just put a nice dash on it. The crispy and the spice with a little bit of refreshing Asian pear, it’s a nice combination.”

 

Ingredient List

  • 3½ ounces crab meat

  • 1½ ounces pâte à choux (recipe below)

  • ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

  • Oil for deep frying

  • Black pepper sauce (recipe below)

  • Korean Asian pear, cut into a fine julienne

  • Fleur de sel, as needed

  • Cilantro, fine chiffonade, as needed

  • For the pâte à choux:

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water

  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1½ cups)

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 5 large eggs

Black Pepper Sauce Ingredient List:

  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil

  • 7 ounces scallions (about 2 bunches) washed, dried and sliced

  • 2 ounces garlic (about 1 head), minced

  • 2 tablespoons fermented black beans, rinsed, squeezed and chopped

  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed

  • 6 tablespoons sweet soy sauce

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation
First, for the the pâte à choux, use a large pot to bring your butter and water to a simmer. Next, stir in flour and cook, stirring, until your batter pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pot. Transfer the contents to a mixer and whisk for two minutes to cool. Add one egg and repeat until all eggs are fully incorporated. Cool before using.

Fritters
Mix the crab meat, pâte à choux and Old Bay seasoning and roll into nuggets about the size of a quarter. Deep-fry these nuggets in oil at 375-degrees until they are golden For best results, place a wire basket on top to submerge.

Black Pepper Sauce
Over medium heat, heat oil and heat and fry garlic until golden. Add scallions and cook until soft. Next, add pepper and cook until fragrant. Add your remaining ingredients and boil. Once the sauce coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat and puree to medium smooth, grittiness is to be expected.

Serving
To serve, first spoon your sauce in the center of the plate, neatly. Arrange the crab fritters on top on your sauce. Creatively scatter the Asian pear atop the crab and sprinkle lightly with cilantro and fleur de sel to finish.

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Patrick's Pick: DuMOL Winery, 2010 Viognier Lia

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At J&G Steakhouse we know that nothing pairs better with a chef-prepared steak or filet of fresh fish than the perfect glass of wine. Luckily, our talented staff, including our own General Manager Patrick Norton, are well-versed in all things wine. We came to Patrick with one question: “What’s the wine of the moment?” And, which wine did he mention? DuMOL Winery’s 2010 Viognier Lia. Here’s what every wine lover should know about this California wine maker.

Philosophy
Located in California’s Russian River Valley, this estate has been harvesting grapes and producing fine wines since 1996. Conditions in this area are optimal, as the soil and vine health face minimal external inputs. Not concerned with trends, DuMOL practices winemaking that is intuitive, concentrating on the unique needs of each wine and only employing the least amount of “technique” that is necessary.

Process
Making wine takes patience, and DuMOL is sensitive to the “natural nuances” and detail of the grapes. Rather than produces wines only to earn rave reviews or high scores, the winemakers set out to produce wines worth drinking. Through experimenting and fine-tuning on an annual basis, DuMOL seeks to capture the characteristics of the grapes and vineyard sites, bringing that spirit to each bottle.

Stewardship
Absent of harmful chemicals, pesticides and sustainably-farmed, DuMOL takes an Earth-friendly approach to winemaking. In fact, its Windsor facility, which was built in 2008, was the first “green building” in the township, and today serves as an example to other wineries in the region. Additionally, DuMOL is 100 percent solar powered. Plus, the estate has designed and built its own bioreactor system that is used to treat and process its waste water. It’s also worth noting that DuMOL uses less than half of the amount of water consumed by neighboring wineries throughout the region.

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