Crab Cakes:
8 ounces crab meat

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons peanut oil

Avocado Garnish:
1 ripe tomato, skinned, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, for garnish


1. Cut the crabmeat into 1/4-inch pieces. (You should have about 1 1/2 lightly packed cups.)
2. In a bowl, mix the crabmeat with the pepper, thyme, chives, Tabasco, salt, and mayonnaise. Add the bread crumbs, and toss them lightly into the mixture.
3. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each about 1-inch thick and weighing about ? ounce. Handle the mixture gently; it should barely hold together.
4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot, place the patties carefully in the skillet, and saute them gently for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 6. To serve, spoon some of the vegetable mixture onto 4 individual serving plates, sprinkle with the chives, and place a crab cake on top. Serve immediately.

Jacques Pepin says that you can substitute surimi, the imitation crabmeat made with fish like pollack and cod, for the crab.

Crab Cakes with Avocado Garnish
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