Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 25 min
Makes 6 servings.
- 2lb cooked king crab legs in shell, thawed if frozen and shells split lengthwise
- 1/2stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 2tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1cup whole milk
- 1large garlic clove, lightly crushed
- 2large egg yolks
- 1/3cup medium-dry sherry
- 1/2teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1/4cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano(1/2 oz)
DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 450°F.
Remove crabmeat from shell, discarding cartilage, and cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then add flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream, whisking, then add garlic and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking, until béchamel is thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and discard garlic.
Whisk together yolks, Sherry, mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt in a bowl, then add hot béchamel in a slow stream, whisking. Pour mixture into saucepan and cook over very low heat, whisking constantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and gently stir in crabmeat and parsley. Divide mixture among 6 (4-ounce) ramekins.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cool slightly. Stir together melted butter, bread crumbs, and cheese with a fork, then sprinkle over crab. Put ramekins in a shallow baking pan and bake in upper third of oven until crab is bubbling and crumbs are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Cooks’ note: • Deviled crab can be prepared (but not baked) 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.