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Walnut Creek Magazine

Get Cracking! Crab Season Is Here

Start your cioppino base and chill that Chardonnay! One of Northern California's most beloved foodie events is about to begin. After weeks of delay, Dungeness Crab Season officially opens on December 31, but winter storms are adding to the uncertainty of whether or not it will make it to local seafood counters in time for New Year's Eve celebrations. 

When it finally does make a debut, here are some comforting recipes from some of our favorite restaurants that go beyond melted butter and cocktail sauce. Get cracking.
By Nick's Cove
Serves 6-8
1 lb. Dungeness crab meat
2 lbs. elbow macaroni pasta
½ pound unsalted butter
¾ cup flour
8 cups whole milk
8 cups heavy cream
2 leeks, white part only, sliced
1 cup Point Reyes Toma, shredded
1 cup Spring Hill Cheddar, shredded
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
Fresh lemon juice (¼ lemon)
Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Toasted breadcrumbs (for garnish)

Directions: In a large pot bring three gallons of water to a boil. Add pasta and boil, 6-8 minutes. Put in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In another large pot begin melting butter. Add leeks and saute 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add flour. Stir constantly; cook until mixture bubbles for 2-3
minutes. Add milk and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer. Allow mixture to reduce while simmering, approximately 5 minutes. Add cream and simmer again for 5 minutes. Add the cheeses, whisk until incorporated. Add salt to taste, 3-5 drops of Tabasco, and juice of a quarter lemon. Pour over pasta and add crab meat, stirring to incorporate. Serve with toasted breadcrumbs and parsley.

By Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Serves 6
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
8 cups chicken broth
½ lb. Dungeness crab meat
½ lb. Bay Shrimp, cooked
2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons curry powder (optional)
2 lbs. pumpkin puree
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Sauté celery, onions, and garlic in olive oil over high heat until golden brown.
Place in blender with 2-3 cups of chicken broth and blend until smooth. Stir into a large pot with the rest of the stock, whipping cream, curry powder, pumpkin puree, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 45 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add crab and shrimp before serving. 

By Little River Inn, Mendocino

Serves 6-8
1 tablespoon butter

1 yellow onion, diced
1 leek, diced
2 stalks celery, diced

1 Russet potato, diced
2 tablespoons flour

2 cups clam juice

1 lemon, zested 

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
pinch of salt & white pepper

½ cup butter, browned
1 cup frozen peas

1 pound Dungeness crab meat

1 pound pie dough (fresh or frozen)
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sautee onions, leeks, and celery in butter on medium heat for 3 minutes.
 Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add potato and clam juice, cook until potatoes are tender.
 Remove from heat, add lemon zest, Old Bay, salt, and pepper.
 In a separate pan, cook ½ cup butter until slightly browned. Add to mixture and cool (this can be made ahead). When cool add peas and crab meat, mix well.
 Divide into oven proof baking dishes. Top with pie dough and brush with egg wash.
 Bake for 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown.


By Walnut Creek Yacht Club
Serves 10
4 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 cups yellow onion, chopped
 2 cups celery, diced
1 cup fennel, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup green bell pepper, diced   
1 tablespoon garlic, minced 
 2 tablespoons garlic, sliced
 8 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
 2 tablespoons dried oregano
3 bay leaf
2 tablespoons thyme, fresh, chopped
½ tablespoon red chili flakes
½ tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon black pepper, fresh ground
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 cups white wine white
2 cups fish or chicken stock
Fresh Seafood (per person)
2-3 shrimp
1/4 crab
4-5 mussels
4-5 clams
2 -3 oz fish, cut into cubes
Directions: Heat oil add onions, celery and fennel. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add garlic, red chile flakes and herbs, except parsley. Sauté for a few more minutes.
Add white wine and cook for 5 minutes and add stock and cook for 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper and chopped parsley. Cook until simmering or desired taste. Add seafood to the simmering sauce.
When the clams and mussels open, it’s ready to eat. 

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