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Crab legs menu

My uncle will be joining us for Christmas Eve and has requested crab legs; no steak. It isn't something I ever make. What do you suggest as side dishes? I don't have app's or dessert planned. Will plan that around the rest of the meal.

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  1. Think along the lines of a Lobster Clambake.....Shrimp, clams, sausage, chicken, potatoes, corn.

    I'd be happy with a roasted corn relish or Asian/Cole Slaw.

    1. I like to start with a simple pureed veg soup- like a butternut, or celeriac or carrot.
      Crab can be very rich, so i would stay away from too much dairy in the rest of the meal. Homemade dinner rolls or bread, a roasted or braised veggie dish (roasted sunchokes, parsnips, carrots,onion) and a salad with seasonal greens, pumpkin seeds, an acidic vinegrette.

      1. I agree with the slaw, it goes with seafood. You could do one with Chinese cabbage, shredded carrot, and apples with a Vidalia onion or other vinaigrette. Corn also goes with seafood; frozen corn on the cob is acceptable...add a bit of sugar to the water when cooking it.

        I think you need a potato...a simple potato hash with onions & garlic is perfect. IMO, soup, unless it's a chowder (with or without seafood) just doesn't go with the meal. I'd do another fish or seafood for an appetizer like maybe smoked salmon on toasted crostini with a dill/lemon sour cream.

        Seafood is light if you're not using a ton of butter or cream so you could go heavier with the dessert. Consider an apple dumpling drizzled with warm caramel or pumpkin bread pudding...

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cherylptw

          I was hoping I could do a bread pudding! I'm also liking the chowder idea as the starter. I was trying to avoid potatoes for their whiteness...the plates I was planning to use are white also...but, I may rethink plating with king crab anyway. Thanks for your thoughts!

          1. re: mhcpita

            You could always use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes in a chowder.

            1. re: Cherylptw

              Or the potatoes could be brown: Hash browns, home fries, roasted...

        2. I would think steak dinner with the crab substituted for the steak. Tossed salad, baked potato, garlic toast, and a vegetable. It's a little boring, but satisfying.

          1. One of my favorite meals. Nice to do it with melted butter and a mustard sauce. (maybe mustard dill or mustard horseradish) I agree that some kind of slaw would be nice.
            And champagne is a very nice beverage to pair.

            1 Reply
            1. re: perk

              I've not had crab with a sauce previously. The mustard horseradish is intriguing - we all love horseradish and gobbled up bottles of cranberry horseradish for Thanksgiving! I might have to be more careful with my sides though if I do the mustard horseradish, as opposed to the mustard dill? I'm thinking the mustard horseradish could be a bit overpowering and fight more with veggies (I really don't want to do a potato).

            2. One way that Mrs. ricepad really likes crab is with a fairly simple green salad and pasta with a simple butter and garlic sauce. She'll then crack the crab and mix it with both the salad and the pasta. Then she'll take a piece or two of really crusty, super sour sourdough, and wipe her plate up with it.

              1. Are you talking about Alaskan King Crab Legs or something less mammoth?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Seeker19104

                  I was thinking Alaskan King Crab. We are in the heart of the midwest, so good (note, not great) crab is really only available this time of year. I for one, though I love crab, am not crazy about the process to eat it. I know..I know.. I'm known for preparing way too much, too many things....so, I'm going to only stick with crab. No steak.

                2. How about a corn/potato moque choux. I have a recipe that I will need to dig out of the old paper files, but it it something like this without the shrimp: http://www.wbrz.com/news/chef-of-the-...

                  Basically a dish that is like creamed corn and potatoes with red peppers and onions for added flavor. I think it compliments crab, kind of like a deconstructed crab chowder with the creamy corn and potatoes served as a side dish.

                  While your uncle wants crab, maybe consider also serving a beef tenderloin or something too?.

                  Definitely a crisp green salad with what I suggested. I would probably also serve a simply steamed/boiled green veggie like green beans or sugar snap peas or quick cooked fresh spinach.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Springhaze2

                    Maque Choux is something I've never done before. I like the idea of it for Christmas Eve. It's so dreadfully cold here now; I should have clarified in my post....I don't want to do a cold side dish like slaw.

                    1. re: mhcpita

                      I found the Maque Choux recipe. This is for four people...so you will need to adjust amounts. (The measurements don't need to be exact.)

                      2 strips thick bacon, diced
                      3 cups red potatoes, diced (about 4 potatoes)
                      medium onion diced
                      1/2 cup red bell pepper diced
                      1/2 cup chicken broth
                      2 teas. sugar.
                      2/3 cup heavy cream
                      2 cups fresh or frozen corn
                      4 sliced scallions
                      2 tbls sliced fresh basil
                      salt, pepper, hot sauce to taste.

                      Cook bacon, when crisp add potatoes, onion, pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broth and sugar, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 5-8 minutes. Add cream and simmer uncovered until it thickens, 2 or 3 minutes.

                      Stir in corn, scallions, basil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Warm through. You can make the first part ahead of time, just reheat and add the corn, scallions and seasonings shortly before serving.

                      Side note: Leaving the skins on the red potatoes, and adding the bacon, scallions, and red pepper make the potatoes less "white."

                  2. We do King Crab legs for Xmas Eve/NYE and I think a baked potato with all the trimmings, salad and some melted butter.
                    Shrimp cocktails to start and a chowder or Lobster Bisque..I add a puff pastry or crescent roll over the tureen and its a huge hit.
                    I get most of it at Costco..do they have the Seafood Road Show in the Midwest?
                    Some Champagne and your all set..

                    1. It may not be very Christmas-y, but in our world a crab leg dinner feast must be accompanied by the three Bs - Bread, Butter, and Beer.

                      1. I would serve rice pilaf, green salad or a non-sweet slaw, maybe Napa Cabbage. Sourdough and butter is always nice, or biscuits.. Maybe a lemon-raspberry tart.

                        1. keep it simple, just oven baked french fries (yes the frozen bag) and roasted asparagus and knock yourself out on side sauces of clarified lemon butter and horseradish aioli for however the person chooses to employ them.

                          1. My husband and I recently had a feast of snow and king crab. I just did a crab boil with corn cobbettes and polish and andouille sausage. We didn't even come close to eating it all. My kitchen is tiny, so I try to keep things simple.