Jumbo Lump Crab Taco, Pickled Chiles and Avocado

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Crab Salad

1 pint unpasteurized jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through for shells

1/2 small bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced

2 limes, zested and juiced

Freshly cracked black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 4 pickled Fresno chiles, minced

Kosher salt

Guacamole

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 lime, juiced

1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled

Extra-virgin olive oil

Taco assembly

Blended oil, for frying

12 wonton wrappers

Pickled onions, for garnish

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Pickled Chilies:

2 pounds chilies

Sherry vinegar

Sugar

Kosher salt

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 sprigs fresh marjoram

3 garlic cloves

Pickled Onions:

2 pounds red onions, sliced

White wine vinegar

Sugar

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

4 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, add the crab, chives, lime zest and juice, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and pickled chiles. Carefully toss to combine and taste. Season with salt and extra-virgin olive oil, if needed.

Guacamole

  1. To a bowl, add the garlic, salt and black pepper, to taste, lime juice, avocado, and a little drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Lightly mash with a fork, leaving the guacamole a little chunky. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  2. Put a little blended oil into a medium pot over medium-high heat and heat to 350 degrees F. 
  3. Using a thin, wooden rolling pin, put the wonton wrapper around the end of the rolling pin and pinch with tongs. Put the end into the heated oil and allow to fry. Once the taco begins to crisp and hold its shape, remove the rolling pin. Allow to fry until puffy and slightly browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining wontons. Drain the shells on paper towels.

For each serving:

  1. Put 3 dollops of the guacamole on the plate. This will help hold the tacos upright. Top each mound with a taco shell to hold in place. Fill the taco shells with the crab salad. Top each with a couple pickled onions and freshly picked cilantro leaves.

Pickled Chilies:

  1. Pack the chiles into 2 (1-quart) jars and cover them with water to come within 1/2-inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half the water, and replace it with sherry vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups liquid.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan and add the bay leaves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, marjoram, and garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour the hot liquid into the jars to cover the peppers, and screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Pickled Onions:

  1. Pack the onions in 2 (1-quart) jars and cover the water to come within 1/2-inch of the rim. Pour the water out into a measuring cup. Note the volume, pour off half of the water and replace it with vinegar. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons salt for every 3 cups of liquid.
  2. Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan, add the mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, and then remove it from the heat. 
  3. Pour the hot liquid into the jars to cover the onions and screw on the lids. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

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