3.6 35

Crab Imperial with Red Pepper

Crab imperial is a classic Maryland dish made with blue crab bound in a mayonnaise-based sauce. In place of the mayo, Michael Mina makes a hollandaise sauce, which makes the spread even silkier.

slideshow Spring Hors d'Oeuvres Recipes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8 first-course servings

Related Video

More Videos
How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace


  • 1 stick unsalted butter—6 tablespoons melted, plus more for greasing
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Hot sauce, such as Crystal or Tabasco
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Toasted baguette slices, for serving



  1. In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the flour to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth and simmer, whisking, until the sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking, until no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes. Season the béchamel with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from the heat.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice. Set the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly until thickened, 2 minutes; remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the 6 tablespoons of melted butter until a smooth sauce forms. Fold in the béchamel and lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
  4. Preheat the broiler. Set one rack 6 inches from the heat and another rack 10 inches from the heat. Butter a 9-by-9-inch ceramic baking dish. In a bowl, combine the crabmeat, onion and bell pepper. Gently fold in the sauce. Scrape into the prepared baking dish. Broil on the upper rack for 3 minutes, until browned. Transfer the baking dish to the lower rack and broil for 4 minutes longer, until hot throughout. Serve with baguette toasts.

Suggested Pairing

The recipe’s sweetness and rich texture make it an ideal companion for a Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

Contributed By Photo © Michael Turek Published April 2012

Related Video

More Videos
How to Make the Ultimate Umami-Bomb Vegetarian Demi-Glace


You May Also Like


495652 2013-12-06 Michael Mina spring|cocktail-party|dinner-party|new-years-eve|appetizers-starters|dips-and-spreads|8|make-ahead|snack april-2012,blue crabs,hollandaise sauce,crabmeat,crab spread,crab dip,seafood spread,Michael Mina,bechamel sauce recipes,crab-imperial-with-red-pepper 495652