Okay, I’ll admit it: it took me a minute (or a few months) before I got San Francisco. I moved there thinking I’d stay a short while so I wasn't taking it seriously and frankly wasn’t that into it. But then things changed: I settled into my job as Food Editor at CHOW, regularly shopped the farmers markets, hiked the redwoods weekly, and wine tasted in Sonoma at a moment's notice. Then, before I knew it, I was head-over-heels for my adopted city.
The precise moment I fell for San Francisco was around Valentine's Day. I was noshing on Dungeness crab at the legendary San Francisco seafood spot, Swan Oyster Depot, because, ICYMI, Dungeness crab is as key to San Francisco culture as the Golden Gate bridge. Dungeness crab is widely considered the best crab available on the West Coast and the season runs from December through early Spring, so Valentine’s Day is prime Dungeness time. Now that I no longer live in San Francisco one of the things I miss most is Dungeness crab season.
If I got my way, I'd head north to San Francisco each Valentine’s Day for the sole purpose of having a meal of Dungeness crab and bubbly. But knowing that's highly unlikely, this recipe for Dungeness crab ravioli is the next best thing. My favorite Dungeness crab recipes always have citrus and, if I had to choose just one type of citrus to pair crab with it'd be Meyer lemons hence this recipe for Dungeness Crab Ravioli with Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce. Do your best to search out Dungeness crab (or the best crab you have in your parts) for this recipe and then get to work. Wonton wrappers make easy work of the ravioli, which gives you time to concentrate on mastering the garlicky, lemony cream sauce. This Dungeness crab recipe may not be an impromptu trip to San Francisco but it'll more than do.
minced and divided
divided plus more for garnish
(preferably Dungeness) picked over to remove any shells
plus more for garnish
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add one third of the minced shallots and cook until just translucent; remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the crabmeat, 1 tablespoon of the chives, all the parsley, and 1 teaspoon of the mustard; season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Divide the crabmeat filling into 24 equal portions.
On a clean dry work surface, use a pasty brush to lightly brush 8 wonton wrappers with water. Place 1 portion (about 2 teaspoons) of the crab filling in the center of each wonton. Cover with a second wonton wrapper, press out any air pockets and seal tightly. Using a 3-inch round or fluted biscuit cutter, trim the excess dough. Transfer the ravioli in a single layer to a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Filled ravioli can be assembled and frozen on the baking sheet ahead of time. Once frozen, transfer ravioli to an airtight container and keep frozen until ready to cook, up to one month.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium nonstick frying pan. Add the remaining shallot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until soft. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of chives and all the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in the thinly sliced garlic, remaining mustard, and lemon rind and simmer over low heat until sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Lower heat to medium-high then cook the ravioli in batches (about 8 to 10 at a time) in simmering water until they start to rise to the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the ravioli to a colander to drain. Add the drained ravioli to the cream and reheat, stirring gently, over low heat. As needed, add a few tablespoons of the cooking water to help the sauce coat the pasta. Serve immediately garnished with lemon zest and chives.
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