Sunday, May 3, 2009

Southern Crab Hash

We feasted on Spring today. It was a great day to be outside, so we hiked up the gorge at Watkins Glen. We were hungry when we got back.

This crab hash was great comfort food after our long hike. The sweet crab marries well with the pancetta and the crisp potatoes.

Needed to use our leftover crab meat --- I could only get a large can for Jeanne's crab quesadilla recipe (see previous entry) ---and wanted to do something other than crab cakes. So, I looked until I found this Food & Wine recipe and added some veggies to it.

Serves 4

2 pounds boiling potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
6 slices bacon (I used diced pancetta)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 t. salt
3 ounces cream cheese (I used low fat)
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
pinch cayenne
3/4 pound lump crab meat
1/8 t. pepper
3 T. chopped fresh chives or scallion tops

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat;simmer until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.

In a large nonstick or cast iron frying pan, cook the bacon (Pancetta) until crisp. Remove. Pour and reserve all but 1 T. of the fat.

Add the onion to the pan (we added chopped red pepper) and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until browned about 8 minutes.

I added fresh baby spinach and fresh nutmeg and continued cooking until completely wilted. Remove.

In the same pan, heat the reserved bacon fat and enough oil to measure 3 T. over moderately high heat. Add the potatoes; let them cook, without stirring, for 6 minutes. Add 1/4 t. of the salt, stir, and cook the potatoes until well browned, about 6 minutes longer.

Return the onion, bacon (pepper and spinach) mix to the pan and continue cooking until warmed through, about 1 minute longer.

In a medium saucepan, heat the cream cheese, milk, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and the remaining salt (I added lots of pepper) over moderately low heat, stirring, until hot, about 5 minutes. Add the crab and cook, stirring, until warm through, about 2 minutes longer.Stir the crab mixture and 2 T. of chives into the potatoes until just combined. Serve topped with the remaining chives.

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