Seasoned Garlic Crab Fries with Aioli
Seasoned fries are topped with crabmeat, crispy garlic, and aioli for a summery seafood appetizer. The fries are hand-cut and double fried to give you that crisp and golden brown exterior with a light and fluffy inside. They’re tossed in the zesty classic, Old Bay Seasoning, a personal favorite of mine which pairs well with the crabmeat.
I love using the meat from the claw of the crabs for this recipe because it has a stronger crab taste. The meat comes from the swimming claws of the crab and are more active muscles so the meat is fattier and darker in color – more pink and brown rather than pure white like the lump meat. Using the claw meat will let the flavor of the crab shine with the seasoned fries.
Want to know a fun fact that a lot of people don’t realize? Aioli is just garlic mayo. When people say they hate mayonnaise but love aioli I can’t help but laugh. If you don’t have the energy to hand whisk your aioli, it can also be made in a food processor (a blender only works for larger quantities because of how high the blades are). You can also whisk the garlic, salt and lemon juice into ½ cup of store-bought mayonnaise as a shortcut. And be careful with raw egg yolks – they are not recommended for pregnant women or elderly people.
For the seasoned fries:
4 large Russet potatoes, peeled
¼ cup white vinegar
Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying
3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
4 cloves garlic, chopped
For the aioli:
1 egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional as needed
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup lump crab meat
1 medium jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
For the fries:
Slice the peeled potatoes into ¼-inch thick planks and cut each plank into ¼ -inch fries. Add the cut fries to a large bowl filled with cold water and the vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes.
In a heavy-bottomed pot add enough oil to reach 2-inches up the pan. Heat the oil to 250ºF. While the oil heats, drain the fries and pat completely dry. Working in batches, add a handful of the fries to the oil and fry, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fries. Let all the fries cool to room temperature then increase the temperature of the oil to 350ºF.
Working in batches again, add fries to the oil and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet once more to drain. Add all of the fries to a large mixing bowl and toss with the Old Bay spice.
Add the garlic to a fine mesh strainer and carefully lower it into the oil until the garlic is crispy, about 15 seconds then drain on paper towels and set aside.
For the garlic aioli:
Place a medium-mixing bowl on a kitchen towel (this will keep it from moving). Add the egg yolk, garlic, salt and 2 teaspoons of water to the bowl, whisking to combine.
Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the grapeseed oil into the bowl 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture is thick and emulsified. Continue to whisk constantly and add the olive oil, drizzling it in slowly, about a tablespoon at a time. Whisk in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Divide the fries among serving bowls and top with crabmeat. Drizzle with aioli and top with jalapenos, chives and crispy garlic. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 as an appetizer.