Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Sauce Recipe


4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup Pernod
1/2 cup creme fraiche (recipe follows) or heavy cream
1/2 tbsp. butter, blended into a paste with 1/2 tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1 lb. fresh cooked crab meat, picked over and shredded
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups white egg-bread crumbs (preferably fresh)
1 1/2 cups clarified butter**
24 lemon wedges
24 dill sprigs
Jalapeno Sauce (recipe follows)

Melt the butter in a saute' pan or skillet over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the Pernod, and cook for a few minutes. Add the creme fraiche, butter-flour paste, salt, and pepper, and stir to mix. Add the crab and stir gently until incorporated, then cook for 5 minutes. Do not burn. Remove to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Mix in the eggs.

Divide the crab mixture into 24 portions and form into 1-inch thick patties. Coat evenly with the bread crumbs, pressing so they will adhere. Place the cakes on a rack and refrigerate until very firm, about 1 hour.

Pour the clarified butter into a heavy saute' pan or skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat to 365 degrees, or until the fat begins to shimmer. Fry a few of the crab cakes at a time, turning once, until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining crab cakes. The crab cakes can be held at room temperature for a few hours. Reheat in a preheated 325 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes before serving.

Garnish with the lemon wedges and dill sprigs and serve hot with Jalapeno Sauce on the side.

Yield: 24 crab cakes

Creme Fraiche


1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp. buttermilk


Combine the cream and buttermilk in a glass container, cover, and let sit in a fairly warm place (70 to 80 degrees) overnight, then chill. The cream will thicken.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Jalapeno Sauce


2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
3 green bell peppers, seeded, deveined and chopped
Salt to taste
2 1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest


Heat the olive oil in a heavy saute' pan or skillet. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, white wine and heavy cream and cook for 5 minutes. Add the green peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor. Season to taste and serve topped with the grated lemon zest alongside the crab cakes.

**To make clarified butter, melt butter over low heat. Let the melted butter stand a few minutes, so the milk solids settle. Skim any foam from the top and pour the clear yellow clarified butter through a sieve into a container. Store in the refrigerator.


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