CRUNCHY CRAB CAKES WITH TOMATO BUTTER
Chopped whitefish, jalapeño, and a crust of panko pair deliciously with a rich compound butter bursting with summer flavors. Plate these individually with a simple green salad, or serve them with the tomato butter as a condiment. These are also great made into bite-size cakes, with a small dollop of the tomato butter as an hors d'oeuvre.
- 4 oz skinless whitefish fillet
- 1 jalapeño, seeded, divided
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley (fresh)
- Sel Magique Classic Blend
- 1 tsp black pepper, divided
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb fresh jumbo lump crab meat, drained and picked over to remove all shells
- 1 1/2 cup panko
- 1 lemon cut into 4 wedges for garnish
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes, or any ripe tomatos
- 2 tsp sugar
- Sel Magique Classic Blend
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened & cut nt pieces
- 1 tbs fresh thyme
CRAB CAKES - MAKE SECOND & CHILL
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Process whitefish in a food processor until mostly smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Finely dice 1 jalapeño; add to bowl with fish. Stir in mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon Magique, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and cayenne. Gently fold in crabmeat, leaving lumps intact. Divide mixture into 8 portions (about 1/3 cup each); shape into 3-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle both sides of patties generously with panko to coat completely; press lightly to adhere. Refrigerate 30 - 50 minutes.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, cook crab cakes until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack to keep crunchy.
TOMATO BUTTER - MAKE FIRST
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a heatproof bowl with ice water and set aside. Use a paring knife to lightly score an “X” on the bottom of each tomato.
- When the water boils, generously salt it (plain sea salt) then add the tomatoes and cook for 30- 45 seconds, or until the skin just begins to curl and peel away from the “X”. Immediately transfer the tomatoes to the ice water to stop the cooking. Let them cool for a few minutes, then drain and use your fingers or a knife to peel off the skin. Discard the skin and transfer the tomatoes to a saucepan.
- Add the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of Magique, black pepper and garlic cloves to the saucepan and use a fork or wooden spoon to smash the tomatoes and release their juice (roughly chop the tomatoes if larger than cherry size). Cook over medium heat, smooshing tomatoes against the wall of the pot to break them up as the mixture simmers. After about 10 minutes, when the liquid has thickened and cooked down, stir constantly to prevent scorching. Simmer until almost all of the liquid has cooked off and tomatoes are thick and jammy, about 20 minutes total. You should have about 1/2 cup of tomatoes. Let cool completely.
- Transfer cooled tomato jam to a food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Add butter, thyme and Magique to taste (use less! The Magique becomes slightly more salty as the crystals dissolve into the butterfat) and process until smooth and completely mixed, scraping down sides as needed. Taste; season with more Magique and pepper if needed.
- You can plate these with a generous streak of tomato butter on the plate, then place the crab cakes on top of the butter, then garnish with a lemon. Or, serve up a little pot o the butter and let guests use it like a condiment. However you choose to enjoy these, enjoy!