Crab Cakes with Avocado Sauce

Episode 116: Shell-ebration
Recipe: Crab Cakes with Avocado Sauce (Salsa)

Delicate to handle, elegant and refined in taste, these crab cakes have just enough bread in them to hold together, with some mayonnaise added for moisture and flavor. Although nothing can replace real crabmeat, you can substitute surimi, the imitation crabmeat made of crab shells and fish such as pollack and cod. Surimi is widely available in markets.

Crab Cakes with Avocado Sauce

Serves 4 as a first course

CRAB CAKES
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces crabmeat
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 slices white bread (1 1/2 ounces), processed to make crumbs (3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons peanut oil

SALSA
1 small ripe avocado
1 ripe tomato (5 ounces), peeled, halved, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

FOR THE CRAB CAKES: Pick the crabmeat over for shells and cartilage. Cut it into 1/4-inch pieces. (You should have 1 1/2 loosely packed cups.)

Gently mix the crabmeat with the salt, pepper, thyme, chives, Tabasco, and mayonnaise in a bowl. Add the bread crumbs and toss them lightly into the mixture.

Divide the mixture into portions and form it into patties about 1 inch thick. Handle the mixture gently; the cakes are fragile.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. When it is hot, carefully place the patties in the skillet and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

FOR THE SALSA: While the crab cakes are cooking, peel and pit the avocado and coarsely chop it. Combine the avocado and tomato in a bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, pepper, salt, and water, tossing gently to mix.

To serve, spoon the avocado mixture onto four individual plates and sprinkle with the chives. Place the crab cakes on top and serve.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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  • Ken

    Just made this for dinner. Fantastic!!

    Jacques, you are the best. I watch your shows over and over. Each time I pick up something new. Thank you for sharing all that you know in the kitchen. What a gift to the world.

  • Hjerzy

    Wonderful presentation of a scrumptious combination of flavours . . . as is EVERYTHING in the PEPIN repertoire . . .
    Brilliance, every time .
    Henri

  • Louann

    out of all the food shows i have watched …….. i have choosen the most recipes from yours….. i thank you ………..

  • Carolyn Compton

    I love the way you explain things so simply…There is one thing that I wish you and all the chefs on TV would clarify for me..Pleases take particular note to tell us exactly what kind of flour you are using..not the name brand ;but whether it is plain ,self rising,cake,pastry etc…I will not make a recipe if it is not stated.. I am not a pro..thats why I look to you for guidance..Some recipes call for plain flour add salt,some say add salt and baking powder,and yet again some call for baking soda..It is very confusing..I love to cook ..but,I’m sceptical of baking because of the exactness of measurements and this particular issue..PLEASE HELP..I would love to conquer some serious baking fears ..Thank you so much and I hope you live forever so your very special gifts will ALWAYS be shared with the world..I’m only sorry that I was not old enough to appreciate Ms. Julia when she was alive..I now depend on your episodes with her to teach me as well…….MS.CAROLYN COMPTON

  • Jane

    This is now one of my favorite recipes. Best way to eat crab cakes. Instead of making bread crumbs, I use between 1/3 and 1/2 cup store-bought plain bread crumbs. Crab cakes still taste great.