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Sauteed Crab Cakes with Fennel Salad Dressed with Kaffir Lime Vinaigrette
Makes 6 Servings
*8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
*Zest and juice of 3 lemons
*2 lbs. crab meat
*1/4 cup basil, chiffonade
*Salt and pepper to taste
*1 cup flour
*4 eggs, beaten
*3 cups panko (See Notes)
*1 bulb fennel, shaved
*1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, julienne
*1/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced thin
*2 tbls. basil, chiffonade
*2 tbls. red onion, shaved and blanched
*6 cups Mesclun mix
*1 kaffir lime leaf
*1 oz. rice vinegar
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. cilantro
*1 tsp. basil
*1 tsp. mint
*1/8 tsp. black pepper
*1/2 tsp. sesame oil
*3 oz. canola oil
1For the crab cakes: Place cream cheese in a bowl at room temperature. When the cream cheese is at room temperature, stir briskly with a rubber spatula so that no lumps remain.
2Chop the lemon zest very fine and add to the cheese. Strain the juice of the lemons and add it slowly to the cream cheese, stirring constantly. Gently fold in the crab meat and basil. Season well with salt and ground black pepper.
3Portion into 6-oz. balls. (The mixture will be very soft.) Refrigerate for 2 hours.
4Form each ball into a cake about 3/4-inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Then follow a standard breading procedure of dredging in flour, then in the egg wash and then into the Panko bread crumbs.
5Saute over moderate heat until golden brown, gently turning over to finish.
6For the Fennel Salad: Shave fennel very thin with a mandoline. Rinse well with cold water.
7Prepare the remaining ingredients. Mix together all the ingredients except the mesclun mix.
8Mix the fennel salad with the mesclun and dress lightly with the Kaffir Lime Viniagrette. Reserve some of the viniagrette to drizzle around each plate.
9For the Kaffir Lime Viniagrette: Chop kaffir lime very fine and add to rice vinegar. Warm over low heat. Dissolve the salt into the vinegar.
10Add the remaining ingredients and allow to steep overnight, if possible.
11To serve, toss Fennel Salad while crab cakes are cooking. Place 1 1/2 cups of salad just above the center of the plate. Drizzle about 1/2 ounce of Kaffir Lime Viniagrette around the plate. Lean one crab cake against salad. Serve immediately.
  • Panko is Japanese bread crumbs, found in the Asian section of your supermarket.

Executive Chef Edward Curtindale, Pacifica Seafood Brasserie, Aspen CO