jumbo lump crabcakes with sweet corn and jalapeno

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Servs: 4

I know what you're thinking: Another crabcake. Well, all crabcakes are <I>not</i> alike. When this dish goes on Commander's menu, more than half our patrons will order it. They probably feel as my mother does: "True jumbo lump crabmeat is the caviar of Louisiana." We want to highlight the crabmeat, not mask it with heavy binders or frying, so this has no bread crumbs and only a small amount of binder. And the cakes are <I>not</i>fried, making them incredibly light. As for the accompaniment, crab and corn are a classic Creole combination.

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  • add   1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme<B>For serving:</b>
  • add   1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • add   1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for bits of shell and cartilage (other crabmeat can be substituted)
  • add   3 cups freshly shucked corn kernels, about 6 ears
  • add   2 tablespoons butter<B>Corn accompaniment:</b>
  • add   2/3 cup mayonnaise (homemade will be better), with Tabasco and freshly ground black pepper added to taste
  • add   2 jalape&#241;o peppers, seeds and membranes removed, in 1/8-inch dice
  • add   1/2 medium hard-cooked egg, diced small
  • add   2 teaspoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • add   1 green onion, finely sliced
  • add   1/3 cup Creole mustard or other coarse mustard
  • add   1 teaspoon <a href ="/recipes/recipe_views/views/104680">Creole Seafood Seasoning</a> or any Creole seasoning mix, or to taste
  • add   2 tablespoons butter
  • add   Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • add   <B>Crabcakes:</b>
  • add   Fresh thyme springs (optional garnish)
  • add   1 small red onion, in small dice
  • add   1/2 large red bell pepper, in small dice
  • add   Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the crabmeat in a bowl, breaking it up as little as possible. In a separate bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, capers, egg, horseradish, salt, pepper, and seafood seasoning. Mix well, add the crabmeat, and fold together, again, taking care not to break up the crabmeat.
  2. Shape the crabcakes. If you wish, you can roughly shape them by hand before placing the mixture in metal rings or round cookie cutters, each about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Or you can place the rings on a flat surface, put 2 1/2 to 3 ounces of the mixture in each ring, and press lightly on each cake.
  3. Preheat a nonstick pan or a seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter, but don't let it smoke. Using your finger and a small spatula, guide about four of the rings into the skillet. Cook the crabcakes for 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn them over, using the spatula, and cook again for 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. Using the spatula, move the cakes to a sheet pan, and remove the rings. Repeat until the entire mixture is used. About halfway through, discard the butter and use a second tablespoonful.
  4. To make the corn accompaniment: Place a sauté pan over medium heat, and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Be careful not to let the butter burn. Place the corn and jalapeño in the pan, and stir constantly, seasoning with salt and pepper. When the corn is hot (1 1/2 to 2 minutes), stir in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and add the minced thyme. Cook until all the butter has melted. Season to taste.
  5. Serve one crabcake for an appetizer portion, two for an entrée. Spoon some of the corn mixture over the top of each cake, sprinkle with green onions, and garnish, if desired, with thyme springs.
  6. Chef Jamie's Tip:
  7. This dish is a great example of how I try to extract the flavor from the jalapeño, not just get the hotness from it. By removing the seeds and membrane from the pepper, and by cutting it into a small dice, the heat is so greatly reduced that I can use twice as much jalapeño and it won't be incredibly hot. You'll just get the good flavor of the pepper.
  8. Remember: The crabmeat is already cooked, so the crabcakes don't need much cooking. We just put a sear or crust on both sides and heat it through just enough to warm. You know that they are ready when you start to see a sear around the ring and they start to bubble a little. And be careful; it's easy to burn your fingers when you're flipping the cakes.

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