Stone Crab Cakes with Curried Potatoes and Thai Butter
Florida’s sweet stone crabs adapt well to Thai flavors. The crab cakes themselves are mixed with the Japanese bread crumbs called panko and flavored with Thai sweet chili sauce. Sauteed to a golden brown, they are served against cups of butter lettuce holding curried potatoes.
- Curried Potatoes
- Red Potatoes - 3⁄4 pound, small
- Peanut Oil - 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
- Madras Curry Powder - 2 teaspoons
- Thai red curry paste - 2 tablespoons
- Salt - 2 teaspoons
- Thai Butter
- Butter - 1⁄4 pound, at room temperature
- Thai sweet chili sauce - 4 tablespoons
- Thai red curry paste - 2 teaspoons
- Stone Crab Cakes
- Red Bell Pepper - 1⁄2 cup (about 1 small) seeded and diced
- Peanut Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Eggs - 2 large
- Heavy Cream - 1⁄2 cup
- Fresh Chives - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Thai sweet chili sauce - 2 tablespoons
- Stone crab meat - 1 pound, cleaned
- Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) - 1-1⁄2 cups, or any coarsely ground dried breadcrumbs
- Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Butter Lettuce - 4 large leaves from 1 head butter lettuce
- Fresh Chives - 1 bunch
- Stone crab claws - 4 cracked
To make the potatoes: In a 4-quart saucepan bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the potatoes with a small strainer or slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking. Cut the potatoes into 1⁄4-inch thick slices.
In a medium saute pan heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and saute, stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes until golden. Season with curry powder, curry paste, and salt, and keep warm until service.
To make the Thai butter: In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the chili sauce and curry paste and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
To make the crab cakes: Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small nonstick skillet sauté the red pepper in 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until softened. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, chives, and sweet chili sauce. Gently stir in the stone crab meat, bell pepper, and the panko. Form 1⁄2-cup measures of the mixture into 8 3⁄4-inch thick cakes and transfer the crab cakes as they are made to a baking sheet. To help prevent crumbling during cooking, cover the crab cakes loosely and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
In a 12-inch skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1⁄2 tablespoon of butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and saute half of the crab cakes 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn the crab cakes carefully and brown the other side. Transfer the sauteed crab cakes to a baking sheet. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 1⁄2 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and saute the remaining crab cakes in the same manner. Bake the crab cakes for 6 minutes or until heated through.
To serve: Shape the lettuce leaves into cups, place the warm potatoes inside, and set on individual serving plates. Lean a crab cake against each lettuce cup, drizzle with Thai butter, and garnish with fresh chives and the crab claws.