F E S T I V A L  2003

february 28 - march 3, 2003
south beach recipes

Dungeness Crab Salad
with Avocado and Blood Orange Gelée
Daniel Boulud, DANIEL-New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4 appetizer servings

Blood orange gelée:

  • 3½ two-gram gelatin sheets
  • 2 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice (from about 3 large Ruby Red grapefruits)
  • 1 Tablespoon grenadine syrup

Dungeness crab:

  • 16 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, washed and cut into large chunks
  • 1 lemon, scrubbed and cut into quarters
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • ½ stalk lemongrass; ends trimmed, tough outer leaves removed, and crushed
  • Spice Sachet
    (10 sprigs cilantro, 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns, and ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 2 2 - 2½ pound Dungeness crabs


  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • ½ cup vegetable oil


  • 2 large very ripe avocados, peeled, halved, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 10 sprigs cilantro, leaves only and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 1 blood orange
  • 10 sprigs cilantro, leaves only and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Several sprigs of dill

To prepare blood orange gelée: In a small bowl of cold water, soften the gelatin sheets. Lift the gelatin out of the water and squeeze it gently to remove the excess moisture. Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring ½ cup of orange juice to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the softened gelatin sheets and stir to dissolve. Mix in the remaining juice and grenadine. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, place in the ice water bath, and stir until the liquid becomes syrupy.

To prepare crab salad: In a large stockpot, bring the water, salt, onion, carrot, celery, lemon, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and spice sachet to a boil. Add the crabs and cook for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the crabs to a large bowl. Strain the poaching liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over the crabs and let the crabs cool to room temperature in the poaching liquid.

When cool enough to handle, remove the back shell of the crab. Remove and discard the viscera and the feather gills from the body section. Rinse the crab thoroughly under cold running water. Break the crab in half to obtain two sections with the legs attached. Separate the legs from each other, leaving a portion of the body attached to each leg for easy handling. Crack the shell of each of the claws, legs and the body and remove the meat. Discard the shells and refrigerate the crabmeat until ready to use.

To prepare mayonnaise: Working in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard and vinegar; add salt and pepper to taste. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the vegetable oil. Start by adding the oil by droplets and then when the mixture starts to look thick and creamy, pour the oil into the bowl in a slow, steady stream. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare avocado: In a medium bowl, toss together the avocado, oil, lemon juice, cilantro, sugar, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper.

To plate: Cut the peel and white pith from the blood orange. Working over a medium bowl, cut between the membranes to release the segments. Cut the segments into ¼-inch dice.

Toss together the crab meat, half of the mayonnaise, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place 3 small spoonfuls of the seasoned avocado on each dinner plate. Place 3 large spoonfuls of the blood orange gelée in between the avocado. Place the crabmeat over the avocado and blood orange gelée and garnish with dill sprigs. Add ¼ of the diced blood orange to each plate. Serve immediately.


Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, CA