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City Palate Recipe: Avocado and Prawn Cocktail

Seafood

Pan-Seared Coriander-Crusted Crab Cakes with Roasted Ginger Aioli and Mixed Greens with Chaat Vinaigrette

May/June 2010

Crab Cakes:

1 lb. russet potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated

1 lb. crab meat, fresh, frozen or canned

2 t. dry chives

2 t. Dijon mustard

1 T. each grated ginger and minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 T. garam masala (dry-roasted, ground spices for dusting on crab cakes before frying)

canola oil for frying

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put all ingredients except garam masala into a bowl and mix gently together. Form into 8 crab cakes that are 3 inches across and 1 inch thick. Dust the crab cakes lightly with the garam masala. Heat the oil in a fry pan and, when hot, add the crab cakes. Sear until crisp on one side, place on a cookie sheet and finish in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Roasted Ginger Aioli:

3-inch piece of ginger

1 egg yolk

1/2 t. grainy Dijon mustard

1 t. white wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 t. sugar

pinch of salt and pepper

1/4 c. olive oil

Roasting the ginger sweetens its flavour and removes its heat. Preheat oven to 450°F. Wrap the ginger in foil and bake it for 1 hour. Peel the roasted ginger and grate or mince it. Reserve. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the roasted ginger, mustard, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Begin adding the oil in a steady stream, whisking until the oil has fully emulsified to form the aioli. If it becomes too thick, add a drop or two of water.

Chaat Vinaigrette: blend or process 1 branch cilantro, 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 c. olive oil, 1 T. each ginger paste and garlic paste (or minced ginger and garlic), 1 t. garam masala and salt to taste. Toss the vinaigrette with mixed greens.

To serve: put two dollops of aioli on each plate and top each with a crab cake, brown, crispy side up. Add a side of dressed salad to each plate. Serves 4.