Beginning with the same sweet shellfish foundation, operators tweak crab cakes' size, seasonings and surroundings to shake up the classic starter.
This article first appeared in the 1 August 2008 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.
By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor
Gran Queso Crab Cakes (pictured above)
La Boca, Santa Fe, N.M. A Spanish-style cheese made in Wisconsin and similar in taste and texture to manchego mingles with lump crabmeat at this Mediterranean-accented tapas spot. Red peppers, green onions and cayenne add crunch and heat to Executive Chef James Campbell Caruso's cakes, which are garnished with charred-red-pepper-basil aïoli.
Crab Cake Sliders
Salty's on the Columbia River, Portland, Ore. Paired with house-made seafood chowder, Executive Chef Dana Cress' mini sandwiches make an intriguing yet approachable lunch. Thinly shredded phyllo dough adds a crisp finish to the Pacific-crab cakes, which are tucked in sourdough buns with a tangy topping of arugula, red onion, shaved celery and lemon-thyme aïoli.
University Club Crab Cakes
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. At the University Club & Restaurant, special and claw crabmeat are seasoned with cumin, coriander, green onions and red peppers and sparked with lemon juice, hot-pepper oil and Worcestershire sauce in Chef Jane Leary's recipe. The panko-crusted cakes are fried and then finished in the oven.
Risotto Crab Cakes
Deleece, Chicago. Truffle aïoli adds a luxurious touch to Chef Josh Hansen's rendition of crab cakes, in which 2-ounce patties are formed with a mixture of claw meat, cooled risotto and chopped parsley, rolled in rice flour, and seared in a cast-iron skillet. Hansen finishes the dish with a seasonal salad dressed with lemon juice for added acidity.