Blue Crab Cocktail

Get a taste of island life with this luxurious three-part recipe from chef Erin Zircher of Nantucket’s Cru restaurant. This Blue Crab Cocktail, which is right out of her 2019 cookbook CRU Oyster Bar Nantucket Cookbook: Savoring Four Seasons of the Good Life, includes her signature cocktail sauce and horseradish crème fraiche for a super simple dish that’ll make you feel like you’re sitting on the deck at Cru watching the yachts roll in.


Servings: 4


for the horseradish crème fraîche (makes 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
for the Cru classic cocktail sauce (makes 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
for the crab cocktail
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup horseradish crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup classic cocktail sauce
  • flake sea salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges


for the horseradish crème fraîche
  1. Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese until it is completely smooth.
  2. Add the crème fraiche and heavy cream and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in the horseradish, salt and pepper.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
for the Cru classic cocktail sauce (makes 1 cup)
  1. Combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Transfer to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
  3. Refrigerate until completely chilled before serving. (Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
for the crab cocktail
  1. In a medium bowl, gently toss the crab with the chives and oil.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon horseradish crème fraîche in the bottom of each of four small bowls or rocks glasses.
  3. Top each with 1 tablespoon cocktail sauce, then divide the crab among the bowls.
  4. Top with a pinch of flake sea salt and serve each with a wedge of lemon.

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