If you’re looking to revamp crab legs, this crab bruschetta might be for you. A garlicky butter sauce with serrano chiles and white wine. Gasp. Oh my goodness. Did I just say butter? Oh yes. In the best possible way. Fresh crab meat coated in the sauce. Then piled high on ciabatta toast. The butter sauce seeping through the nooks and crannies as the crisp bread soaks up all that goodness. Talk about a punch of flavor. The richness from the crab meat. A garlic and salty bite mixed with a hint of spiciness from the chiles and red pepper flakes. Have I convinced you yet?
Alaskan king crab’s season technically doesn’t start till October, but if you can find these jewels, they are worth every penny. Since crab legs are precooked when you buy them, I simply cracked them and pulled out all of the meat. Then I cut the crab into small pieces and patiently waited for the butter to melt into the sauce. It seriously takes more time to prep everything than it does to make it. Once you start cooking, it’s done in under 10 minutes.
I used a ciabatta loaf from the bakery. Any baguette or crusty bread will do. I particularly like ciabatta for its airiness and lack of density so to speak. It really holds up well for any topping you put on it, and of course especially with this crab. This would be wonderful for an appetizer at a dinner party. B and I enjoyed it for dinner. No dinner party. No guests. Just him and I to enjoy every bite.
Crab Bruschetta with Garlic and Chiles
inspired by a crab pasta recipe in Molto Batali
serves 2 to 4
8 to 10 slices ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, cored and seeded, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound king crab legs, shelled and cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
pinch of red pepper flakes
coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes until toasted and light golden on top.
In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chiles. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the wine and butter. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until butter is melted and wine is slightly evaporated. Stir in the crabmeat and remove pan from the heat. Stir in the parsley. Spoon the crab mixture over the ciabatta toasts. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and coarse salt. Serve immediately.