Alaskan King Crab Patty Melt with Grilled Avocado and Russian Dressing

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.

Although I have lived in MA since 1973, I lived in southern CA from ages 8 to 22.During that time we had an avocado tree in our backyard and avocados were a staple of our diet. I can remember hot summer nights eating avocado halves filled with crab and covered with Russian dressing. I decided to try to duplicate this taste with a crab burger, somewhat like a crab cake but with its own unique flavor and presentation. At the time I was growing up, in the 1950s and 1960s, the patty melt was very popular. I also wanted to add a touch of Mexican flavor from the region which I did with the cilantro. So I combined all of these culinary delights into this crab burger.


Crab Patties:

2 pounds fresh Alaskan King crabmeat minced fine
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
Juice of 1 lemon
3 green onions minced fine
3/4 cup grated Fontina cheese
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Fish grill basket
Non stick oil spray
Waxed paper


6 sourdough rolls cut in half
6 tablespoons butter

Crab Patty toppings:

1 large ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into 12 1/2 inch slices
I medium red onion peeled and cut into 6 1/4 inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 ripe beefsteak tomato cut into 6 1/4 inch slices
6 large sprigs of cilantro
Vegetable grill basket

Russian dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard


Crab patties:

Chop crab meat by hand and then pulse 6 times in food processor until finely minced but not pureed. Add all other patty ingredients and pulse three times to blend. Form into 6 patties and wrap separately in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.


Melt butter in small saucepan. Brush both sides of buns and set aside.


Slice avocado and onion and brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in vegetable grill basket.
Slice tomato and set aside
Wash cilantro and separate out 6 sprigs with several leaves on each

Russian dressing:

Add all ingredients and pulse in food processor until well blended. Pour into jar and refrigerate until time to assemble burger.


Heat gas grill to medium high heat. Spray fish grill basket liberally with oil. Place crab patties onto fish grill basket. Grill patties 2 minutes on each side until browned. Grill avocado and onion in vegetable grill basket until lightly browned. Grill buns on grill until lightly browned.

Assemble each burger in the following order:

Place one half of bun on plate.
Put crab patty on bun.
Top with 2 tablespoons Russian dressing.
Add 1 slice grilled onion.
Add 1 slice tomato.
Top with 2 slices of grilled avocado
Put sprig of cilantro on top

Serve open faced with other half of bun on the side.