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Blue Crab Beignets

['1/2 small shallot, finely chopped', '6 ounces fresh blue or other lump crabmeat, picked over', '1/3 cup mascarpone', '1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives', 'Kosher salt', 'Vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)', '1 cup all-purpose flour', '1/3 cup cornstarch', '1 tablespoon baking powder', '1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more', '1 cup amber lager', 'A deep-fry thermometer']

Combine shallot, crabmeat, mascarpone, and chives in a medium bowl; season with salt. Gently fold to combine. Set aside.
Pour oil into a large saucepan fitted with a deep-fry thermometer to a depth of 6". Heat oil over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375°F.
Meanwhile, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in beer, just to blend (batter will be thick).
Working in batches of about 4 and returning oil to 375°F between batches, measure 1 heaping tablespoon crab mixture, roll into a ball, and drop into batter. Using a fork, toss to coat and lift from batter, letting excess drip back into bowl. Carefully lower beignets into oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until crisp and deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
DO AHEAD: Crab mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

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