Crab and artichoke casserole

February 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Crab and artichoke casserole -- simple steps to a hearty masterpiece. A delicious recipe from Exec. Chef Brian letner of Nettie's Crab Shack in San Francisco.

Recipe: Crab & Choke Casserole

  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 oz Butter
  • 4 sprigs
  • Thyme - picked and rough chopped

1. Saute the above ingredients until soft over medium heat.

2. Add the ingredients below:

  • 1 cups Milk
  • 1 cups Bechamel
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1 tsp Worchestishre sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp Salt

3. Bring to a slow boil & let thicken. Cool down off heat.

4. Fold in:

  • 10 ounces Crab meat - picked
  • 2 each Soft cooked eggs - chopped

5. Chop 1/2 a pickled artichoke into fourths & put onto the bottom of a gratin dish.

6. Scoop 3/4 cup of mix over the chokes, sprinkle w/ parmesan & bake @ 350 degree for about 30 min in a shallow water bath.

About Owner and Exec. Chef Brian Leitner:
Brian Leitner's story starts like many others-baking chocolate chip cookies with grandma, hovering over a steamy pot of matzoh ball soup, stealing the turkey thigh while mom was carving the Thanksgiving Day bird. After graduating from college with a degree in business economics, however, the road diverged for a moment while Brian pursued a career as an accountant-think budget analysis reports, financial reports, computers, numbers, (yawn).

It didn't take too long for Brian to realize that accounting was not his true passion, and that cooking was indeed his calling. Guided by Chef Gordon Drysdale at Caffe Museo in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Brian divided his hours learning how to differentiate salt from pepper, and more importantly, getting an education in seasonal, simply delicious food.

After recognizing Brian's talents, Drysdale enlisted him to help open his SOMA restaurant, Gordon's House of Fine Eats, as his Executive Sous Chef. Here, he learned the integral steps involved in opening a restaurant, menu development and managing his kitchen staff, which provided him with the fundamental foundation for his career as a chef and business owner. He continued to pursue his PhD in cooking by spending the next five years at the internationally renowned Chez Panisse. This, of course, changed Brian's attitude about food and cooking and forced him to look at how to create menus from the product's source. He learned about sustainability and organic agriculture, not just by cooking the food, but by meeting the farmers who grew the coffee beans, raised the poultry, caught the fish or made the wine and cheese. It was these unforgettable lessons that keep Brian excited about cooking and teaching cooks, servers and guests.

In 2005, Brian joined the ownership team of Living Room Events as Executive Chef. During his tenure here, the company saw a 25% increase in revenue and became known as THE "go to" caterers for organic, sustainable food.

Brian has always dreamed of opening his own neighborhood joint where he can highlight his delicious and honest food, in a casual & friendly atmosphere and could not be more thrilled about the opening of Nettie's Crab Shack. Inspired by the traditional regional dishes he has discovered throughout his travels, Brian takes a lighter approach in the kitchen and puts his own soulful touch on the menu items he creates.


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