Through our collective years of cooking, we have undoubtedly seen many crab cakes and crab cake recipes... serving some off of hot lines and hundreds more on banquets, brunches, and seafood buffets. Chef K had an interesting idea of combining 2 thoughts, and this... by far... is the most interesting crab cake we have ever made... if not, then the lightest.
Start out with live crabs (these were purchased at my 'old reliable' Chinese market stop that strangely has live crabs 365 days a year with no regard to seasons?!?). A quick 3 minute blanch in boiling water (reserve that water).
Keep that pot of reserved water on the side, and pick the crabs clean... discarding all shells, fat, roe, juices into the stock pot. Reserve the picked crabmeat.
In the stockpot, also add some roasted onion, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, bay leaf, black pepper, celery seed and set it to barely simmer for a couple of hours. I don't roast the shells a la classic cuisine style, but opt for a more purely flavored intensity in my crab stock... and no wine or alcohol either. The resulting essence should be black, but clear with no cloudiness. This picture was taken before reducing the stock by half, which became really black. Of course, you can always clarify it if desired, but it wasn't necessary here.
The next step involves the addition of other ingredients to the stock base. Chef K played around with these proportions for half a day until we were satisfied with the outcome. Although there is room for improvement, this is a good base to start from.
Premeasure out 175g crab stock reduction, 225g heavy cream, 50g clarified butter (or somewhere in the neighborhoos of a 38.8/50/11.2% blend). Also, measure out 7.5g gelatine (or 1.7%) and hydrate in cold water. Heat the crab stock on a stove top, remove from heat, and whisk in the bloomed gelatine until it is dissolved. Whisk in the cream and butter until smooth. Pour some of the mixture up to the fill line on an iSi siphon. Add one NO2 charger, chill, and shake periodically while setting.
Grind up your choice of breadcrumbs (we used a fine ground maytag blue streusel), and foam some of the mixture into the crumbs.
Gently (very gently!) spoon more crumbs all around the foam, and carefully remove the crusted foam and place on a plate... the lightest crab cake every created! What other traditional crusted dishes might be interpretted this way? arancini? jamon croquettes? bacalao?
'crab cake,' dandelion salad, grilled butter corn, poached crabmeat, tomato bubbles
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.