Crab Stuffed Endive with Citrus Habanero Oil

One thing I love to serve during the holidays is crab.  Crab cakes are a real favorite around our house.  But with all the rich food that will be part of our holiday gathering I thought it would be fun to try to create a recipe that would lighten up the menu.  This would work great as a small bite before dinner or even as the salad to a sit down dinner.  Simply double or triple the recipe for more guests.

I first tried Citrus Habanero oil in a little trio of olive oil set I bought at HomeGoods and loved it.  It adds just the right amount of zing to a seafood dish and is a really nice finishing touch.  But if you can’t find store bought I’ve included a recipe for making your own.  This will make more than you need but it can be stored for up to several weeks and can be used in any dish where you want a little kick.  And green apple and fennel give this dish just the right amount of crunch.  And they really play well with the crab.  So kick off the holidays early and try this little bite!

Crab Stuffed Endive

  1. Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, habanero oil and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Toss in the in apple and fennel bulb and about ½ of the Dungeness crab and gently combine with a rubber spatula.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. Fill each endive with equal amounts of the crab mixture and then top each with the remaining crab.  Add a tiny bit more salt and pepper and drizzle with citrus habanero oil.  Garnish with fennel fronds.

Citrus Habanero Oil

  1. Combine the oil with the lemon zest and habanero pepper.  Cover and let sit several hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve the oil in an air tight container or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Crab Stuffed Endive

1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 Teaspoons citrus habanero oil, plus more for drizzle (see above recipe or use store bought)
1/3 cup green apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup fennel bulb, finely chopped (fennel fronds for garnish)
1/3 lb (or a little more) fresh Dungeness crab meat
1 bunch Belgian endive leaves
Salt & Pepper

Yields 6

Citrus Habanero Oil

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of two small lemons
½ of a habanero pepper, sliced (2-3 slices about ¼ inch thick)

  1. Combine the oil with the lemon zest and habanero pepper.  Cover and let sit several hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve and reserve the oil in an air tight container or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Yields approximately ¼ cup

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