My grandfather grew up on the bayous of Louisiana, and seafood platters were frequent at our pre-Thanksgiving table. The night before Thanksgiving, when all the family gathered, we would have shrimp creole. The next day, the 'pre-game' play was a bowl of the leftover shrimp creole and cracked crab. I have incorporated this tradition into my own Thanksgiving feast day; it is a nice light starter, preparing one for the onslaught of heavy foods to come.
For the mayonnaise: In a large bowl, add egg yolks, lemon juice and hot sauce. Whisk to combine. Slowly begin adding the oil while whisking constantly, making sure oil is fully incorporating and stopping frequently until each little bit is emulsified into the egg yolk mixture. If it becomes too thick, a little drizzle of water can be added as necessary until all of the oil has been incorporated. When all of the oil has been whisked in, and the mayonnaise is creamy and luscious, season to taste with salt. Set aside.
For the shrimp chips: Heat 2 inches of oil in a 6-quart saucepan. Clip in a deep-fry thermometer and heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the shrimp chips until puffy, about 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
For the crab and assembly: Place 3/4 of the crab in a mixing bowl and toss with 3 or 4 tablespoons of the homemade mayonnaise. Serve dressed crab alongside the remaining undressed crab with a bowl of the mayonnaise and a pile of shrimp chips on the side. Garnish with celery sticks and orange slices.
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.