Crab Cakes with Cilantro Butter (version 2)
Category: Fish & Seafood
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 each, finely diced: red bell pepper, green bell pepper
1 pound best-quality lump crab meat
2 large eggs, beaten
About 1 1/2 cups coarse ground homemade bread crumbs
Salt, freshly ground pepper
Cilantro butter sauce:
1 cup dry white wine
1 shallot, minced
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet; cook red and green peppers in the oil until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon. Cool.
2. Mix crab meat, eggs, cooked peppers and 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using wet hands, shape crab mixture into 8 equal-size cakes. Place on a wax paper-lined plate and chill up to several hours.
3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat crab cakes in bread crumbs on all sides. Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large, ovenproof skillet. Add crab cakes in a single layer. Cook until nicely browned on bottom, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn cakes over and then place in oven. Bake until golden on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, for sauce, boil wine with shallot in a medium non-reactive saucepan until reduced to 1/3 cup. Stir in cream and boil until reduced by about half. Working over very low heat, whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is light and thick. Do not allow sauce to boil at any time or it will separate. Strain sauce through a fine wire mesh strainer into a warm bowl. Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper. Keep warm by covering tightly with plastic wrap and then placing bowl in a pan of warm water.
5. To serve, pour a few tablespoons of the sauce onto a warm serving plate. Top with a crab cake. Garnish with chopped tomato and cilantro sprig. Serve immediately.
Yield: 8 servings