Dungeness Crab with Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche

At Reuling Vineyard, we love bright citrus flavors in both our wine and food. Our preferred citrus variety is the Meyer lemon, which in native to China but thrives in Northern California’s temperate climate. Meyer lemons are believed to be a cross between a lemon and some type of tangerine; it is sweeter and more fragrant than a regular lemon. We are fortunate enough to have a miniature, yet mighty Meyer lemon tree right outside our kitchen door. The tree blesses us with two ample harvests each year, once in the summer and again in the winter. Meyer lemons also pair extraordinarily well with one of our favorite local winter treats- dungeness crab. We invite you to enjoy this delightful crab cake dish with our Reuling Vineyard Chardonnay.

For even more citrus punch, try using homemade preserved lemons and lemon powder.  When using preserved lemons, only utilize the rind in your recipes, not the pulp or juice.  The delicious, salty and acidic rind can be used in salad dressings, sauces or just as a garnish. The lemon powder can also be sprinkled on just about any dish for an extra lemony kick.

Dungeness Crab Cakes with Baby Greens and Meyer Lemon Crème Fraiche

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

CRÈME FRAICHE:

  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • 2 teaspoon meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

VINAIGRETTE:

  • 4 tablespoon meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

CRAB CAKES:

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon meyer lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 lb. dungeness crab meat, thoroughly picked through
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups assorted baby greens

Preparation:

  1. Combine crème fraiche, lemon zest, dill and salt. Mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Combine lemon juice, mustard and honey in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Add salt and set aside.
  3. In large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, scallions, tarragon, dill, eggs, lemon zest, Tabasco, crab meat and panko. Mix gently, be sure not to overwork or mixture will become gummy. Form 6 patties.
  4. Heat butter and olive oil in heavy skillet and cook crab cakes until golden brown on both sides, about five minutes.
  5. Transfer greens to salad bowl and add vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide greens among six plates, place crab cake on greens and top with generous dollop of crème fraiche. Serve immediately.