I apologize I don't have a photo for this finished dish. My tennis team does a Christmas luncheon each year and we all bring a tasty treat. I basically made this at home, transported it and finished it at R's house. We ate this as an appetizer while socializing in her gorgeous kitchen. The room fell silent, need I say more?
First, the crab. My husband picked a Dozen Crabs ($20) for me the day before. If you don't have access, you'll need 1 lb Crabmeat and make sure the meat you buy is lump and that it's fresh. If the crabs are cooked in a seasoned boil, I think the dish will turn out better. Cover the crabmeat and store in the refrigerator for no more than 1 day.
This recipe provides for 12 Appetizer Portions of 2 medallions of eggplant and a 1/4 Cup of Lemon Butter Sauce with a generous amount of Crab. For the Eggplant. Buy 2 Medium Eggplants. Peel and using a serrated knife, slice into 1/2" slices. Preheat a griddle to 375. To a flat bottomed bowl, beat 3 Eggs and 1/2 tsp Salt with a few splashes of water. To a 2nd flat bottomed bowl, add 2 Cups of Bread Crumbs. Coat the griddle with vegetable oil and cook the eggplant, turning once, until golden. You'll work in batches, so re-oil the griddle as needed. It won't be quite done since it's going in the oven. Shingle the eggplant on a cooling rack set on a sheet pan.
For the Lemon Butter Sauce do all the prep first. Mince 1 Large Shallot. Zest, then Juice 5 Lemons. Measure out 1/4 Cup Dry Vermouth. Add 2 Tbl Corn Starch to 1 Cup Chicken Broth. Open 1 Sick Butter. If you are eating this at home, remove the crab from the refrigerator.
Heat a 12" skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp Canola Oil and 1 tsp Butter. Add Shallots, a good pinch of salt, and saute for 1 minute. Add Lemon Zest and saute for 30-45 seconds. Add Dry Vermouth and swirl for 1 minute. Add Lemon Juice and swirl, cooking until the mixture begins to get thicker. Add Broth and once it simmers, cook for 2-3 minutes until it gets thicker still. Turn off heat and add the butter. Swirl once the butter melts and pour into a thick bottomed pot.
Up until now, everything can be made ahead. I transported the crab in a cover container, the sauce in a pot ready for the stove, and the eggplant on the covered sheet pan.
Whether at home or traveling, here's how to finish the dish. Preheat oven to 325. Add Eggplant and bake uncovered for 18- 20 minutes until sizzling. Heat the Butter Sauce WITHOUT THE CRAB over low or medium low heat until very warm without boiling. Stir with a wire whip for 15-20 seconds so it is smooth. Turn off heat and add Crabmeat. Plate up 2 medallions of eggplant and using a 1/4 cup ladle, add the sauce. Serve at once!!