As Greenville continues to grow as an up-and-coming Southern food destination, we're exploring the city, one comforting dish at a time. In this recipe from Soby's New South Cuisine, the eponymous cookbook of the beloved Greenville restaurant, blue cheese fondue gets topped with blackened crab for a rich dip perfect for potato chips. If you think the components don't go together, give this dip a try and get back to us. The funk of the blue cheese, sweetness of the crab and spice of the seasoning all combine for the perfect party app.
Blackening the crab might sound self-explanatory, but there is a proper technique for this controlled burning. You want to make sure your skillet is smoking hot. Only then do you add the crab in an even layer and let cook, untouched. Leaving the crab alone will help ensure a blackened crust that rounds out the creamy blue cheese.
To learn more, read "Green Energy."
Blue Cheese Fondue with Blackened Crab
Recipe adapted from 'Soby's New South Cuisine,' by Rodney Freidank
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
For the Creole Seasoning:
1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
½ tablespoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Blue Cheese Fondue:
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound Clemson blue cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup water
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Blackened Crab and Serving:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound backfin crabmeat
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Kosher salt, to taste
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Potato chips, for serving
1. Make the Creole seasoning: In a small bowl, stir together all of the seasoning ingredients. Store in an airtight container.
2. Make the fondue: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat until fragrant and softened, but not golden, 1 minute. Add the wine and stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by half, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Add the cream and return to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half again, 9 to 10 minutes. Add the blue cheese and, using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. In a small bowl, add the cornstarch and slowly whisk in the water until smooth.
4. Return the fondue to a simmer and whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Cook until the fondue is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and keep warm.
5. Make the blackened crab: In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. In a medium bowl, toss the crab with the Creole seasoning and salt, then spread in an even later in the skillet. Cook until blackened on one side, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip or stir and cook until the other side is blackened, 1 to 2 minutes more.
6. Transfer the fondue to a bowl and top with the blackened crab. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions, then serve with potato chips.