I’m just going to admit it. This recipe is from Top Chef. It was prepared for the Quickfire challenge on Season 2, episode 7 of Top Chef Masters by Chef Jonathan Waxman, owner-chef of Barbuto in the West Village. I wouldn’t say I follow Top Chef “regularly”, but I will pretty much always watch an episode if its on and I’m channel surfing (for which my days are numbered).
When I saw this dish on the show, I wrote down “PASTA CRAB JALEPENO MINT’ on a blue sticky note sitting on the coffee table, and have since been meaning to make it. Its a dish that he serves at the restaurant that he says is one of the most popular dishes. The biggest complain from the judges on the show was that there wasn’t enough crab, so I made sure there was PLENTY.
So so good. Make this. Its so easy (minus the messiness of pulverizing the crab legs, but that is why you should learn from my mistakes and get a pair of Crackers, rather than telling yourself it will be completely fine with a meat tenderizer.
Other things I learned: be gracious with the mint AND the jalapeño. This recipe only calls for 1, but to be honest, I would probably use at least 3 if I made this again, and I don’t like my food spicy.
Pasta with King Crab, Mint, and Jalapeño
1 cup King Crab meat (or more! I used 3 large crab legs, probably closer to 1.5 cups)
1 jalapeño, diced (as I said before, I recommend using more, at least 3)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup mint leaves (or more if you wish)
1 lb pasta (Waxman uses Angel Hair, I used Conchigle)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large pot about halfway with water. Bring to a boil then add 1 teaspoon of salt along with the crab legs. Cover and reduce heat. Let cook for about 6 minutes, then remove and rinse legs immediately in cold water. Using your crackers, remove all the crab meat and shred down any large pieces.
Cook your pasta then drain and keep ready. In a large pan (I actually used a Wok), melt butter. Add jalepeno, mint, garlic, and a touch of zest from the lemon and lime. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add crab. Cook 1 minute more, just so the crab is warm, then add pasta. Cook until everything is just heated through, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with fresh mint. I also grated some fresh parmesan over the plates.