Smoked Salmon and Mascarpone Calzone


This recipe was inspired by a recent visit to Piroshky Piroshky, the small, wonderful-smelling Russian bakery in the Pike Place market.  They make some of my favorite street food, and I can’t make a trip to Pike Place without stopping by for a snack.  On my latest trip, I tried their salmon paté piroshky (a piroshky is a stuffed, flaky, handheld pie) and it was divine.  This “calzone” doesn’t attempt to recreate the salmon piroshky, but was simply inspired by it.  The mascarpone cheese melts away during baking, leaving the rich smoked salmon moist and delicious. 

Makes: 2 Coho Calzones
Total kitchen time: 30 minutes

Crab and Mascarpone Omelette

crab omlette 
Oh the joy of leftovers!  Trust me, if you had what I had for dinner last night, you would share my passion for this delectable day-after breakfast. 

Total kitchen time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 rewarded chef (just multiply everything if there are other worthy cooks in the household)

Shopping List:

  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 tsp. heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup lump crab meat
  • 2 tbsp. mascarpone cheese
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. crème fraîche
  • finely diced chives, to garnish
  1. Heat the butter over high heat in a small skillet until foamy. 
  2. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper.  Whisk the mixture with a fork to incorporate as much air as possible.
  3. Pour the egg mixture in the skillet and swirl it around a bit so it is just ever-so-scrambled.  Now wait.  Don’t do anything for at least 45 seconds.
  4. Using a silicone spatula, scrape around the edges of the pan to loosen the egg from the sides.   Tilt and swirl the pan to allow the runny, uncooked egg on top to drip down underneath the cooked parts.  Do this for about a minute.
  5. Add the mascarpone and crab meat to one side of the pan and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute.  Using your silicone spatula, fold the opposite side of the eggs over the crab bits.  Gracefully slide the whole thing onto a plate.
  6. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and some chives.

You worked hard last night, picking all that crab.  And, if your guests happen to be joining you for breakfast, they will all appreciate your effort.  Enjoy with a mimosa and a smile.

Savage Crab Orzo ‘N Cheese

savage claw 
Who doesn’t love mac and cheese?  Ok, now what if you added lobster to the mac and cheese – oh that would be delicious.  Wait, what if instead of Velveeta we used Mascarpone?  So awesome.  White mac and cheese with lobster.  Sounds great, but let’s substitute fresh king crab for the lobster because it’s a little more hearty and a third the price.  Cool, I’m with you.  Oh, and let’s also use a tricolor orzo instead of macaroni.  Wait, what?  Yeah, orzo, you know the little pasta nibblets?  But why?  Stop asking questions and take a bite.   

Oh, now I totally get it.  Mmmmm…crab orzo and cheese

Total kitchen time: 1 hr (less if you start with lump crab meat)
Makes: 6 people less crabby, paradoxically

Shopping list:

  • 2 lbs. king crab pieces (claws and legs) OR 1.5 lbs. picked lump crab meat
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups Mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tbsp. crème fraîche
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. chives, finely chopped
  1. If you’re starting with crab pieces in the shell, the first (and messiest step) is to remove the meat.  I recommend using a pair of kitchen shears to cut through the shell.  Exercise caution, as crabs are sharp and you’ll likely get frustrated at the little crustaceans’ unwillingness to cooperate.  Break the crab meat up into about 1 inch pieces.  Set aside in the refrigerator.

    Note: unless you are pulling the crabs out of the water yourself, they will
    almost certainly be pre-cooked.  This is because uncooked crab meat has a very short shelf life.  If you are, in fact, starting with raw meat, steam the crabs whole, then pick the meat out yourself.  If, for some bizarre reason, you have a live King crab, you will first need to kill it using any method featured in Starship Troopers.

  2. Cook the orzo until tender in a large pot of boiling water.  Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone, crème fraîche, white pepper, lemon juice and sea salt in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir occasionally until the cheese has melted into a smooth white sauce.
  4. Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet until foamy.  Add the crab and toss to coat in the butter.  You really just want to heat up the crab here, so be brief. 
  5. Plate the orzo, then top with a tablespoon or so of the mascarpone sauce.  Top with a bit of crab meat and garnish with chives.

You have tamed the savage ocean crab.  Now, relish in the delight of victory with another spoonful of cheesy pasta!  May I recommend celebrating with a bottle of Vigonier?