Crab Cakes with Avocado Creme Fraiche
1 1/2 teaspoons sunflower oil or another mild oil
1/2 cup each red pepper, shallots and celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
16 ounces cooked Dungeness crab meat
2 tablespoons aioli
2 teaspoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon lime juice
4 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Avocado Creme Fraiche (see recipe)
Avocado, Tomato and Shallot Salsa (see recipe)
Arugula Salad (see recipe)
1. In a medium saute pan, heat sunflower oil. Add red pepper, shallot, celery, garlic and a pinch of sea salt; cook over medium heat until softened. Let cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine sauteed vegetables, crab meat, aioli, chives, lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3. Form the mixture into 4 cakes, using a 2 1/2-inch ring mold if available. Coat the crab cakes in breadcrumbs; chill until ready to cook.
4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat saute pan; add olive oil and butter. Add crab cakes, and brown. Transfer crab cakes to an oven-safe pan; bake 6 to 8 minutes.
5. Spread 2 tablespoons of the Avocado Crème Fraiche on each plate. Top with a hot crab cake, then garnish with salsa and the arugula salad.
Avocado Creme Fraiche
1 ripe Hass avocado
1/4 cup creme fraiche
Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro (reserve 20 for the salsa)
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Combine ingredients in a blender on high speed. Pass through a fine mesh sieve, pushing with a ladle. Chill until ready to serve.
Avocado, Tomato and Shallot Salsa
1 ripe Hass avocado, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
20 cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Combine ingredients in a bowl, tossing gently to mix.
12 arugula leaves
4 1-inch pieces frisee
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Pinch sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Toss in a small bowl.
-- Sam Berenson, chef de cuisine, The Plant Café Organic, Pier 3