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Blue Corn Crab Cakes with Black Olive-Red Pepper Relish and Basil Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 6 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 6 min
  • Yield: 8 crab cakes
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6 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 jalapenos, diced

1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

2 pounds lump crabmeat, picked over

2 to 4 tablespoons instant flour (recommended: Wondra)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups blue cornmeal

Black Olive-Roasted Red Pepper Relish, recipe follows

Basil Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Black Olive-Roasted Red Pepper Relish:

2 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and diced

1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons basil chiffonade

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil Vinaigrette:

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar


2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapenos and cook until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the horseradish, mustard, creme fraiche until combined. Stir in the onion mixture. Add the crabmeat and 2 tablespoons of the flour and gently fold to combine; season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too loose, add more flour, tablespoons at a time. Refrigerate, covered for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
  3. Divide the chilled crab mixture into 8 patties about 1/2-inch thick. Dredge each cake in the corn chips or cornmeal and tap off excess.
  4. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan over high heat and fry the cakes for about 3 minutes on each side, or until crusty and lightly browned. Place 2 crab cakes on a dinner plate and top each cake with a tablespoon of the relish and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Black Olive-Roasted Red Pepper Relish:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Basil Vinaigrette:

  1. Combine the basil, mayonnaise, vinegar and a little water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the honey, olive oil and salt, to taste, and blend a few more seconds.