November 07, 2006 06:00 PM

ARTICHOKE PUREE
4 strips smoked bacon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 bay leaves, fresh
10 stems thyme
3 cups chicken stock
1 lemon, cut in half
2 jars of artichokes (not canned, if possible), drained
1 tsp. lemon zest
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1. Heat large saucepan over a medium-low flame. Add bacon and olive oil to pan and cook until bacon is rendered but not crispy. Add shallots, garlic and herbs and cook for about 3 minutes, until very fragrant. Carefully add chicken stock, along with lemon and artichokes.
2. Adjust the heat so liquid is at a low simmer. Cook artichokes until fork tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Place hot artichokes into a food processor along with about 2 tbsp. of strained cooking liquid. Blend until smooth. You may need to add more cooking liquid to achieve a thick but smooth texture. Mix in the lemon zest to finish. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.

CRAB IN HERB BUTTER
2 tbsp. white wine
¼ cup whole butter, cut into small pieces
1 lb. fresh crabmeat
1 tbsp. chopped chives
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
½ tbsp. chopped tarragon

1. Place the wine in a medium sauté pan and place over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a light simmer and begin whisking in the whole butter. Work slowly, adding only a couple pieces at a time. The butter should melt into the wine while keeping a creamy consistency.
2. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, add the crabmeat to the pan. Mix gently so that the meat doesn’t get too broken up. Continue heating until just warmed through.
3. Add the chopped herbs and adjust the seasoning as needed.

TO FINISH
Place the warm artichoke puree into a serving bowl. Top with an even layer of the crab mixture. Serve immediately with crostini and endive spears.

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