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Crab Medallions Rockefeller-Cajun Style

This recipe was a runner-up in the 1997 Best Ever Crab Recipe Contest held by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD.

Credited to Ron Sasiela.

  • 10 ounces (1 package) fresh spinach or thawed frozen spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon anise seed
  • 1 teaspoon Accent
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Pernod
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 large egg and 1 egg white, beaten
  • 3 cups fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs, slightly dried (about 8-10 slices)

Chop about 8 ounces of the spinach, reserving about 2 ounces of whole leaves for garnishing.

Saute shallots, celery, parsley, fennel seed, anise seed, Accent, kosher salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in olive oil for 3 minutes over medium-high heat uncovered

Remove from heat. Add the Pernod and chopped spinach and fold in the crab meat carefully so as not to reduce the size of the crab chunks.

Add the egg mixture and stir; then add one third of the breadcrumbs and stir. If the mixture is too stiff to form into flattened balls, slowly drizzle in some water, always taking care to keep the lumps of crab as large as possible.

Shaping the medallions is important and should be done as follows: Dampen hands with cold water. Divide out a heaping tablespoon of mixture. Place it between your hands and compress it firmly but gently. Some moisture will be transferred from your hands to the mixture. Dredge the medallion in breadcrumbs to achieve an even, complete coating. This is important to keep the medallions extra crisp. Some of the spinach will show through the crumbs. Set medallions aside for about 15 minutes to allow the crumbs to absorb the surface moisture and help hold the delicate shape.

Fry at 330-350 degrees in oil until golden brown-about 2 to 3 minutes. Do not allow the oil to cool by trying to cook too many at once as that will make them excessively oily.

Drain them on paper towels and keep warm (140 degrees) until ready to serve.

Serve with Tabasco-seasoned cocktail sauce or tartar sauce and garnish with sprigs of parsley and lime wedges, all placed on a bed of the remaining whole spinach leaves.

Serves 6.

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