This recipe is for the experienced cook although it can be prepared in any home kitchen. In it we have so many favorites; lobster, crab, salmon, cheese and even caviar and Champaign. This is one for when the boss will be at the dinner party or you really want to make an impression or simply when spoiling someone is the order of the day. This is a chilled dish and works well on those hot, sultry evenings.
1 lb. mozzarella (good quality) – softened and divided into 5 equal pieces
8 oz. heavy cream
3 oz. crab meat – cooked, chopped fine
3 oz. lobster – cooked, chopped fine
2 oz. salmon – cooked, chopped fine
½ cucumber – peeled and chopped fine
½ tsp. fresh ginger – grated
¼ tsp. ground white pepper
Pinch of salt
4 fresh Dungeness crab
4 oz. caviar
12 cherry tomatoes on vine (you’ll want 4 vine sections of 3 tomatoes each)
1 small red onion – halved and sliced
1 handful fresh basil
8 scallions – sliced lengthwise
Peel and finely chop the cucumber and set in a colander in the sink to drain.
Chop the crab meat, lobster and salmon into small pieces and place into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place 1 piece of the mozzarella (about ½ cup) in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and add ¼ cup of cream. Replace the lid and pulse to break the cheese into small pieces and mix it into the cream. (Note: pre-shredded mozzarella is an inferior quality cheese that’s coated with corn starch). Set aside.
Soften the other 4 pieces of mozzarella and flatten between layers of plastic forming disk about 8 to 10 inches in diameter (these will be very thin). Lay into bowls that have been oiled to prevent sticking and form a deep pocket (the same as making burrata). Set aside.
Boil the crabs in salted water for about 20 minutes or until the shells turn red.
Pour the heavy cream into a thick bottom sauce pan and heat to just under a boil – careful not to scald – and remove from heat. Stir in the ginger white pepper and salt, cucumber and add the cheese cream mixture, stirring until the cheese begins to infuse. Set the pan in an ice bath and continue stirring until cooled.
Remove crabs from boiling water and immerse in cold water. Set aside.
Divide the cream and cheese mixture between the four mozzarella “bowls. Bring up the sides and fold over to close. Cover with a layer of foil and use the bottom of a heated pan to melt closed (or you can use a torch).
Remove foil and plate by setting an inverted plate on top of the bowl and turning both over together. Carefully remove the bowl so you don’t tear the fragile cheese casing.
Spread ¼ of the basil leaves on each plate making a half circle around the front and side of the burrata.
On the right side of the burrata, lay out sliced onion and a sprig of the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil.
In front of the burrata, spoon out ¼ of the caviar.
“Pose” the Dungeness crab on top of the burrata like it’s a rock.
Garnish with the scallions like grass from next to the rock.
Serve with bread, olive oil and Champaign.
© D R DeMilo 2010 all rights reserved