Rabu, 27 April 2011

Crab Cakes

Little Crab Cakes are one of the most delicious appetizer, but they have to be made the right way.
I like them juicy and full of chunky crabmeat. They should not contain to much mayonnaise and I don't like it if you can taste the egg... it's not an omelette after all. These crab cakes are binded with mashed potatoes and breaded with Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs), which are lighter and less dense than traditional bread crumbs. I served my crab cakes with tartare sauce instead of the recommended Pistachio Aioli (just because I was lazy and love tartar sauce).

Crab Cakes with Spiced Corn and Pistachio Aioli 
(Marcus Samuelsson "New American Table")
makes 2 crab cakes

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (about one pound)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons chopped mint
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
6 tablespoons olive oil
Spiced corn
Pistachio Aioli
3 limes, cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 400F

To make the crab cakes, place the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with salted water, and bring to a boil. Add the garlic, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Strain the liquid. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash the potatoes and garlic with a fork. Set aside to cool. (
I didn't use the whole amount  of the potatoes- it seemed too much) Mix in the crabmeat, chili powder, mustard, mayonnaise, cilantro and mint, breaking up any large clumps with your hands. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 24 crab cakes, each about 1 inch in diameter and ½-inch thick.

Combine the cornstarch and panko in a shallow bowl. Dredge each crab cake in panko, pressing to make sure the crumbs stick and coat the crab cakes.

Heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in two batches to prevent overcrowding the pan, add the crab cakes and sauté until the crust is crisp and golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Heat the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil and continue with the second batch. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Serve with the spiced corn, pistachio aioli and lime wedges.

Spiced Corn

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup corn kernels, preferably cut from 2 ears fresh corn
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the corn and garlic and sauté until the garlic is golden, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, lime juice, soy sauce, and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Cook until heated through.
Remove from the heat and fold in scallions and cilantro. Set aside to cool.

Pistachio Aioli

3 small Yukon Gold potatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons natural pistachios
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pistachio oil (see tip)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool and peel.
In a separate pot, combine the vinegar, lemon juice and garlic and simmer until 2 Tbsp of liquid remain.

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pistachios and toast until they start to color, about 2 minutes.
Combine the pistachios and the potatoes in a blender. Add the egg yolks, vinegar mixture, olive oil, pistachio oil, mustard and 2 Tbsp water and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
Stir in the cream and tarragon and season with salt and pepper.

Tip: pistachio oil has a stronger flavor than most nut oils, making it a wonderful addition to vinaigrettes. It's also a great way to dress up a simple grilled meat or fish - for instance elegance, just drizzle a bit of oil over the meat or fish when you remove it from the grill. Look for pistachio oil un upscale food markets, or order it online. 

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