This has to be one of easiest recipes Eric Ripert has in his entire collection. A quick mix of ingredients spooned into a baking dish, topped with breadcrumbs, and broiled for 5 minutes. This takes less than 10 minutes from start to fnish.
I will warn you that this recipe is vague. He doesn't indicate what kind of crab, mustard, or how much lemon you should use. I think the reason it's so vague is because he uses the best quality crab, and when you use the best quality crab, the rest doesn't matter. So to be clear, use good crab!
Also worth mentioning, when I've had crab gratin in the past, it has always been full of cream and cheese. This is not that type of gratin! There is no cream. There is no cheese. If there is a healthy crab gratin, then this is it! In fact, there is only one tablespoon of mayonnaise and one tablespoon of creme fraiche in the whole gratin.
This is a very light and mild crab gratin.The emphasis is really on the crab. The first time around I enjoyed mine on a piece of toast because, as I've said a million times, I am obsessed with food on toast. However, I will say that I enjoyed this best with veggies. It was a great dipper for celery, carrots, and really good spooned onto some cherry tomatoes.
I know people shy away from adding lots of seasoning to crab as to not take away from the taste of the crab. I understand this, and tend to agree, but with this dish I definitely feel like it could use a little sauteed garlic and onion and/or a sprinkling of Old Bay seasoning. I really feel like this would be just the right thing to help bring out the crab flavor.
Eric Ripert's Crab Gratin
Recipe adapted from Avec Eric
by Eric Ripert
8 ounces crab meat
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons chives, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven on the broil setting. In a bowl, combine the crab, creme fraiche, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper. Mix together and put into the dish. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs. Bake in the oven on broil for about 5-6 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the crab is hot all the way through. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.