27 essential Western dishes

Taste local flavor in every bite of these star recipes that define the West

Deviled Crab Louis
Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Deviled Crab Louis

Whoever Louis—or Louie—was (no one’s quite sure), San Francisco’s Hotel St. Francis was serving his addictive combination of Dungeness crab, iceberg lettuce, and chili-mayo dressing in 1910. Our updated recipe reflects a broader selection of greens, with salsa and smoky chipotle chiles replacing the chili sauce for a more interesting interplay of flavors. But a little mountain of sweet, fresh crab—a far pricier ingredient now than a century ago—is still the final flourish.

Deviled Crab Louis recipe:

  • 8 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves (10 in. long)
  • 1 head Belgian endive (white or red; 3 oz.), leaves separated
  • 2 qts. finely shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce, or a combination
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Deviled Louis Dressing (recipe below)
  • 1 lb. shelled cooked Dungeness or Alaska king crab
  • 2 firm-ripe tomatoes (3/4 lb. total), cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and each cut into 4 wedges
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives
  • Lemon wedges
1. Line dinner plates or wide bowls with whole lettuce leaves, and then Belgian endive leaves.

2. In a large bowl, combine shredded lettuce and parsley. Add 2/3 cup deviled Louis dressing and mix gently. Divide among lettuce-lined plates.

3. Mound crab in center of shredded lettuce mixture; arrange tomato and egg wedges around edges. Sprinkle salads with salt, pepper, and chopped chives. Serve with lemon wedges and remaining dressing.

Deviled Louis dressing recipe: Purée 1 cup tomato salsa (medium to hot) and 3 to 4 tsp. chopped canned chipotle chiles in a blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in 2 cups mayonnaise, 6 tbsp. lemon juice, and 1 tbsp. sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

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