Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Main Dish
2CupCanola Oil
½PoundFresh Maine or Dungeness Lump Crabmeat
¼CupBest-Quality Mayonnaise (or Tangerine Aioli--see Grilled Asparagus with Tangerine Aioli)
CupDried Bread Crumbs (preferably panko crumbs)
1CupAll Purpose Flour
1TablespoonTabasco (or other Hot Pepper Sauce)
2TablespoonScallions (thinly sliced)
TablespoonsRed Bell Pepper (finely dliced)
Egg (lightly beaten)
2TablespoonsFresh Lemon Juice
TablespoonsWorcestershire Sauce
¼TeaspoonFreshly Ground Black Pepper

Avocado Salsa
Large Avocados (pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks)
1TablespoonFresh Lime Juice
3TablespoonsRed Onion (finely diced)
1TablespoonFresh Cilantro (chopped, plus whole sprigs for garnish)
1TablespoonExtra-Virgin Olive Oil
¼TeaspoonKosher Salt

Mango Coulis
Mangos (cut into chunks--see note)
1TeaspoonConfectioners' Sugar


In a deep saute pan, heat 1 cup of the canola oil over high heat until a deep-frying or candy thermometer reads 375°F. In a bowl, combine the crabmeat, onion, scallions, bell pepper, mayonnaise, Tabasco, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, the lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until fully incorporated. Form into cakes about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Place the flour on a plate, and stir in the salt and pepper. Place the beaten egg in a bowl and the remaining 1 cup bread crumbs on another plate. Dredge each crab cake in the flour, then in the egg, and then in the bread crumbs. Lay the cakes in the oil and panfry until each cake has a nice brown crust on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

To Make the Salsa:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing gently. I like this have bright green chunks of avocado (which the lime juice keeps from turning brown), rather than to be a smooth guacamole concoction. Refrigerate the salsa until ready to use.

To Make the Mango Coulis:
Place the mango chunks in blender with 1 1/2 cups water and the confectioners' sugar. Process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, pour in another 1/4 cup water, and again check the consistency, adding up to another 1/4 cup water if necessary. Refrigerate the coulis until ready to use.

To Serve:
Spoon coulis into the center of individual plates in a small bowl. Slice each crab cake in half to make two round pieces and lay the bottoms in the puree. Spoon some avocado salsa on top of each and place the top portions of the crab cakes over the salsa like a sandwich. Top with a small amount of salsa and garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Cat's Note:
I've found the easiest way to cut a mango is to cut a fat slice off each side, moving your knife parallel to the broad side of the pit inside. You'll have mango thirds, with the two outer thirds free of the pit. With a sharp knife cut a checkerboard pattern in the flesh of the two outer thirds, slicing first in one direction and then the other without cutting through the skin. Then flip the mango piece inside out so the cut side is curving outward. You'll find the crosshatching you've done makes the chunks stand out so they're easy to cut away from the skin with a knife.

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