Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Red King Crab Inspires Tasty Appetizers

In a year when Bristol Bay red king crab quotas dropped to a 4.3-million-pound quota, the lowest since 1985, a few fine dining restaurant chefs are employing the gourmet seafood in creative ways, to accommodate both tastes and consumer budgets.

Upscale restaurants in Washington state and Alaska are showcasing the succulent crab both in moderately priced appetizers and robust entrées.

In the cozy, upscale Marx Brothers Café in Anchorage, Alaska, diners may choose a Yukon Gold Gnocchi, with Cambazola moray, red king crab and pancetta, prepared by sous chef Michael Adlam.

King crab legs with drawn butter are not on the menu.

“It’s so boring,” said Jack Anon, partner and executive chef of Marx Brothers. “We will do king crab legs with drawn butter on request, but they can get that anywhere.”

Other chefs apparently agree.

The appetizer list at the Kincaid Grill in Anchorage includes king crab cakes with corn relish, serrano-lime aioli. At Seven Glaciers restaurant at the Alyeska ski resort in Girdwood, Alaska, chefs offer an appetizer of crab cake, scallops, spicy remoulade, and seasonal salad while Elliott’s Oyster House in Seattle, Wash., features crab cakes of Dungeness, Jonah and red king crab, with dill aioli Aleppa chili.

At Simon & Seaforts Saloon and Grill, diners may begin their dinner with Alaskan Ceviche, an appetizer composed of king crab, halibut, sidestripe shrimp, avocado, lime juice, tequila and crispy tortilla chips. Menu entrées include seared sea scallops with king crab risotta, mushroom confit, sweet pea puree, preserved lemon, scallop butter sauce. Other offerings promote Norton Sound red king crab with herb parmesan mashed potatoes, melted butter and blistered lemon.

For those who want more of that Bristol Bay red king crab, Orso, in downtown Anchorage, features Bristol Bay red king crab legs with broccolini, house smoked salmon, stuffed tomato and drawn butter. Bristol Bay red king crab appetizers average about $18, and the entrées $70.

For consumers who prefer to prepare their own gourmet food, Bristol Bay red king crab is available for purchase online from seafood shops in Anchorage and Seattle for about $33 to $40 per pound, plus shipping.

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