Serves 4 to 8
Rich and generously sized, each tender crabcake is large enough to work as a meal — for two. It is served atop very creamy corn maque choux and topped with homemade grilled green onion tartar sauce and tomato relish.
Please note that this recipe calls for raw egg. Although many recipes call for raw eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that diners — especially children, seniors, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems — avoid eating them. Cane vinegar is available at select gourmet stores and cooking stores, as well as online.
GRILLED SCALLION TARTAR SAUCE
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½ bunch scallions
Oil, for brushing the onions
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cane vinegar or rice vinegar
1½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1. Grill the scallions: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly brush the scallions with oil, then grill, turning every minute or so, until charred on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside until cool, then slice crosswise into small rings.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the egg yolk, salt, mustard, sugar, lemon juice, cane vinegar and Worcestershire sauce until incorporated. With the mixer running, slowly add the oils until you reach a mayonnaise-like consistency. Fold in the scallions and sweet pickle relish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This makes about 1 cup tartar sauce, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to five days.
1 tomato, finely diced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
4 large basil leaves, cut in thin strips
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the tomato, red onion and basil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before using, to give the flavors time to marry.
JUMBO LUMP CRAB CAKES
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked of any shell
2 large scallions, finely diced
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Pinch ground black pepper
¾ to 1 cup breadcrumbs
1. Seasoned flour (1 cup flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper)
2. In a large bowl, very gently combine the crabmeat, scallions, lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and three-fourths cup breadcrumbs, carefully folding the ingredients together to avoid breaking up the lumps of crabmeat. Divide the mixture into fourths, and mold each into a crabcake (if the crabcakes are too delicate to hold together, add the remaining breadcrumbs to make them firmer). Flour both sides of each cake with the seasoned flour. The crabcakes can be made up to one day ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to cook. If making ahead, wait to flour the crabcakes until ready to cook.)
CORN MAQUE CHOUX
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ears of corn, shucked
½ cup diced red bell pepper (from about ½ pepper)
¼ cup diced green bell pepper (from about ¼ pepper)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup diced onions (from about ½ large onion)
1 ½ tablespoons chopped garlic, from 6 to 7 cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1½ cups milk
1½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Stir in the corn, bell and jalapeño peppers, onions and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are softened, six to eight minutes. Stir in the flour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the flour begins to smell nutty, two to three minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and cream, and simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid reduces and the mixture begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. (If it thickens too quickly, the mixture can be thinned with a little chicken broth or water.) Stir in the Worcestershire and hot sauce, along with the pepper, salt and cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
CRABCAKES WITH CREAMY CORN MAQUE CHOUX, TARTAR SAUCE AND RELISH
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
Corn maque choux
½ cup scallion tartar sauce
¼ cup tomato relish
Sliced scallions for garnish
1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add a tablespoon or two of oil to lightly coat the bottom of the skillet, and gently place one or two crabcakes in the pan (this will need to be done in batches). Brown the crabcakes on one side, then carefully flip over and brown the other side. Remove the crabcakes to a rack, and continue cooking until all of the crabcakes are done.
2. On each of four plates, ladle one-fourth of the corn maque choux. Place a crabcake in the center of each and spoon 2 tablespoons of the tartar sauce on top of the cake. Finish each dish with a tablespoon of tomato relish and garnish with scallions. Serve immediately.
Adapted by the Los Angeles Times from Red Fish Grill in New Orleans.