Crab Claws in a Champagne Vanilla Sauce
- 1 cup champagne
- 4 tablespoons minced shallots, in all
- 1 whole vanilla bean, scraped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 pounds crab claws
- Salt and white pepper
- 4 blanched asparagus, warm
- Long chives
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
Heat a large nonreactive saute pan. When the pan is hot, add the champagne, 2 tablespoons shallots and vanilla bean. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the liquid reduces to about 2 tablespoons. Stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the butter, a few cubes at a time. Remove the pan from the heat when all of the butter is incorporated. In a saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add the claws and remaining shallots. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce in the center and around the rim of the plate. Arrange the asparagus in the center of the sauce, forming a triangle. Mound the claws in the center of the sauce. Garnish with long chives and chopped chives.
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