Sunday, February 28, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Crab and Brie Fondue

I just got back from a long week of meetings in Dallas and have some catching up to do with my blog posts. After a busy week, the best thing to cure your frizzled brain is with some delicious comfort food.

I made this fondue a couple of weeks ago for my parents. Kyle is allergic to crab, so he wasn't able to enjoy this. One of the near deal-breakers in our relationship was that he couldn't eat my family's favorite food--crab. He found out he was allergic to crab when he was old enough to know that he loved crab. Luckily he is a good sport and allows us to crack open juicy claws, drench it in butter and ohh and ahhh over the tasty critters, all while he looks on with longing. We usually have a crab alternative like my other favorite, lobster, so don't feel too bad for him.

This fondue is probably one of my all-time favorite dishes and is a recipe from one of my most trustworthy Food Network stars, Emeril Legasse. It is truly decadent and I have to warn that it is pretty expensive to make because of the lump crab meat and brie. Not to mention that it is probably 1000 calories per bite. If you have guests coming over or need a guaranteed amazing, plate-licking meal, this is the one for you.

If you look closely, you can see the cheese bubbling a little in this photo...yummm...

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 cups heavy cream
8 ounces brie, trimmed of rind
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked clean of shells and cartilage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons Tomato Confit, recipe follows
French bread or focaccia croutons, for serving

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted, add the shallots and saute, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft and translucent, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Once the cream is hot and bubbling, add the Brie and use a whisk to stir it into the cream. Season the cream with the salt and pepper and add the crabmeat to the pan. Continue to cook the fondue over medium heat until the cream is slightly reduced, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the parsley into the fondue. Transfer fondue to a fondue pot and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Tomato Confit into the fondue. Serve warm with French bread or focaccia croutons.

Tomato Confit:
1/4 pound plum tomatoes, cored, halved, and seeded
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
Olive oil, as needed
Place tomatoes in a small saucepan and season with the salt. Add the rosemary sprig and garlic and enough olive oil to barely cover the tops of the tomatoes. Bring oil to a very low simmer and cook for about 1 hour. Remove tomatoes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Yield: about 1/2 cup

I forgot to add the tomato confit before I took this photo, but it was absolutely delicious. I have noticed that many chefs are using tomato confit in various dishes lately, so it might be nice to make extra and use it in other dishes you make during the week.

Happy Eating,


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