Stephan Pyles Summer Corn, Crab and Tomatoes Recipe

Summer Corn, Crab and Tomatoes (serves 4)

4 large heirloom tomatoes
1 pint baby heirloom tomatoes
1 cup blanched spring peas
8 pieces baby corn (in husk if available)
16 oz. king crab meat (taken out of the shell)
4 fresh soft shell crabs (primes)
1 lemon (sliced)
4 sprigs thyme

Smoked Corn Vinaigrette

8 each large ears of corn
4 cloves garlic
2 each shallots
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 cup corn oil
kosher salt to taste


Smoke corn for 30 minutes and then roast in oven at 350 F until thoroughly cooked.
Purée all ingredients in blender and slowly drizzle in oil then season with salt to taste.

Chili  Butter Monte for King Crab

3 cups water
1 pound butter cubed
3 tablespoon chipotle purée
3 tablespoon guajillo purée
1 tablespoon sugar
2 each shallots, peeled


Take the water and bring to a boil and a then place the water, shallots, sugar and chili purees into a blender and turn on. While the blender is on and the ingredients are puréed start adding the butter a few cubes at a time until it is all incorporated. Pass through a chinois and set aside.

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
The secret to the complex flavor of this sauce is the smoking of the chilis and vegetables.  
1 small ripe tomato, quartered
1 small onion, quartered
1 medium beet
½ red bell pepper, halved and seeded
½ yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small turnip
1 ancho chili, halved and seed
1 serrano chili, halved and seeded
1 chiptole chili, halved and seeded
1 quart rich veal stock
2 teaspoons dried mustard
6 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
6 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ cup ketchup (preferably homemade)
Prepare a smoker.

Soak 6 8 small chunks of aromatic wood (preferably hickory) for 20 minutes in water.
Build fire in smoker with hardwood charcoal briquettes. When briquettes are still glowing but somewhat gray (about 20 minutes from starting fire), add soaked wood chunks. Let burn for 5 minutes. The temperature of the smoker should register about 180 degrees.
Place chilies and vegetables on grill over water pan and cover with top of smoker. Smoke ingredients for 20 minutes. Remove ingredients from smoker and place in a 2 quart saucepan with the veal stock. Bring to a boil and reduce liquid by 1/3. Whisk in mustard. Strain and set aside.
In small saucepan, whisk together the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until mixture becomes syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add syrup to the strained veal stock and whisk in the catsup. Strain sauce through fine strainer.

Sherry Vinaigrette

1 cup Brunoise shallots
1 cup    sherry wine vinegar
1 cup blended olive oil
1½  cups  Extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes before adjusting salt.

Tempura Batter

2 each whole eggs
2 cups ice water
½ cup cornstarch
2 cups rice flour

Combine liquid ingredients then combine the dry ingredients.  Mix wet into dry until smooth and season with kosher salt to taste.


Prepare all other items in this recipe and set aside to assemble.  Pre-heat the grill and heat oil in a pot to 350 degrees.  In a pan place one cup of chili butter monte and a few slices of lemon with the thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer and place the king crab in the pan.  Make 4 large slices out of the 4 heirloom tomatoes and brush each with oil and salt and place on the grill.  Rub the baby corn with a little Chipotle barbeque and place on the grill. Dip the soft shell crabs in the tempura batter and fry for 3 minutes until crispy. In a small bowl mix the baby heirlooms and spring peas with a little sherry vinaigrette and set aside.

To Assemble:

Place a plate down and streak some smoked corn vinaigrette across the plate and place the grilled heirloom in the corner of the plate.  Cut the soft shell crab in half and place on the top of the grilled heirloom.  Stack the grilled baby corn up next to the tomato and place the king crab in the center of the plate.  Pour some of the peas and tomatoes on the king crab.  Place the corn custard tart next to the king crab and drizzle guajillo chili oil around the plate and serve.

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