The recipe comes from A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus, a local cookbook by Renee Erickson. It’s filled with menus, recipes, beautiful photos and stories sprinkled throughout about everything from her summers in Washington as a kid to the food suppliers she uses for her restaurants. The recipes can be elegant, yet simple, and always fresh. Like the Pacific Northwest itself, now that I think about it.
I made a half-recipe, as it was only for my husband and I, and it made plenty – enough for dinner again tonight. Neither of us is a fan of tarragon, so I swapped that out for fresh garlic chives from the pot on the back porch. I also used Vegenaise instead of mayonnaise. When I want authentic mayo I make it from scratch, but for day-to-day use I like the vegan version. Using fresh crabmeat was the right call, as when I taste-tested the mixture for seasoning before piling it on the English muffin, I wanted to eat it all up right then! We both waited patiently (well, one of us did) while our little toaster oven took forever to broil, getting that sharp cheddar to that perfect melted, golden stage.
I served this with a coleslaw made from what I had on hand: chopped green cabbage, the last of a bunch of cilantro, (so mostly stems), a dollop of Vegenaise, a bloop bloop bloop of rice vinegar, a sprinkle of whatever is in the sugar bowl (Splenda) because it was closer to my hand than the pantry, and a couple generous pinches of Thai ginger sea salt and vigorous grinds of the pepper mill. Can I hear a YUM?
4 English muffins, split
2 lbs. picked crabmeat
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ounces strong white cheddar, such as Beecher’s Flagship
Toast the English muffins until lightly browned in toaster, and preheat the oven’s broiler setting to high.
In a large mixing bowl, blend together the crabmeat, mayonnaise tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the muffins on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Pile the crab salad onto the muffins, then top the crab with the cheddar.
Place the baking sheet on a rack about 4 inches from the broiling unit. Broil the melts with the door partway open until the cheese is melted and bubbly, turning the pan once if needed to melt the cheese evenly, 3 to 5 minutes total. (The meat inside doesn’t need to be piping hot.) Serve immediately.