Peekytoe Crab Cocktail
This acclaimed Judson Grill dish combines crabmeat and sevruga caviar with greens in a large martini glass. The verbena oil in the vinaigrette adds special flavor. Be sure to wipe any drops of oil off the glass after you’ve assembled the cocktail so that the glass arrives at the table sparkling.
- Verbena Oil
- Grapeseed oil - 2 cups
- Lemon verbena - 1 bunch, fresh or dried
- Lemon Zest - Zest of 1 lemon
- Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette
- Egg Yolk - 1
- Warm Chicken Stock - 6 tablespoons
- Lemon Juice - 4 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Verbena Oil - 2 cups (see above)
- Basic Vinaigrette
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper - To taste
- Scallions - 2
- Baby Greens - 2 oz, pulled into small pieces
- Flat leaf parsley - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Peekytoe crabmeat - 8 oz (alt. other fine crabmeat), picked over
- Sevruga caviar - 1 oz
- Avocado - 1
To prepare the verbena oil: Put all ingredients in a saucepan and heat to just below a boil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Take off the heat and let stand to infuse the oil. When cooled, strain through a fine-meshed sieve and store in a sealed container.
To prepare the lemon verbena vinaigrette: Place the egg yolk, stock, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a blender and pulse to blend, or, use a stick blender to blend. With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil. When all the oil has been added and emulsified, remove from the blender and pour into a non-aluminum container. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To prepare the basic vinaigrette: Put the lemon juice in a non-aluminum bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil until emulsified. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To assemble: Clean the scallions. Cut the white portion into thin slices; cut half the greens on the bias for garnish. Toss the baby greens with basic vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Put the greens in four martini glasses. Toss the crabmeat in a non-aluminum bowl with the scallion slices, parsley, and 3 ounces of the verbena vinaigrette. Mold the crabmeat into four small quenelles and place one on top of the greens in each glass. Spoon caviar on top of each quenelle. Peel and quarter the avocado, removing the pit. Cut each quarter into a thin fan and drizzle with basic vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper. Place a fan in each glass. Garnish with bias-cut scallions.