Dinner:  February 26, 2008

It’s always a drag getting caught up at work after time away, but we got a bit of good news yesterday which melted my stress right away. I didn’t have anything specific planned for dinner, so when I swung through the market at Grand Central to pick up provisions, I decided to splurge a bit. I picked up a pound of lump crab meat and a container of crème fraiche at Wild Edibles, remembering the box of frozen artichoke hearts at home in the freezer, with thoughts of combining them in a rich and creamy gratin. I took the ‘chokes out to thaw when I arrived home and got to work on the rest of the dish. I spooned the crème fraiche into a large bowl and lightened it with the juice of half a Meyer lemon. I seasoned it with a bit of kosher salt and added a copious amount of chopped fresh herbs – thyme, chervil and chives. I picked through the crab meat and added that to the bowl, then added my thawed, drained artichoke hearts, folding the mixture gently. I divided it into two buttered baking dishes and topped each serving with some grated Fontina cheese, then baked them in a 400 degree oven until they were browned and bubbly – about 25 minutes or so. This gratin was definitely luxurious and very good, though next time I think I’ll go a little heavier on the lemon juice to balance out the creaminess of the crab.

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