Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa and Smoky Chile Dressing

Crab Cake with Mango Salsa and Smoky Chile Dressing

Crab cakes make me happy.  They remind me of summer and sun and the outdoors.  I love enjoying a crab cake with a chilled glass of white wine on a patio somewhere, be it near the beach or in a friend’s back yard.

After a winter of stews and heavier dishes, I was feeling the need to bring some summery lightness to the table and what better way to do it, for me anyway, than to make one of my favorite summer dishes.  These cakes, paired with a mango salsa, smoky chile dressing and lightly dressed greens, did the trick.

Inspired by Mesa Grill, I adapted a few recipes and have included them here. What I like so much about these crab cakes is that they have zero mayonnaise in them.  I used fat-free sour cream mixed with horseradish and the result is lighter and much less gloppy.  I also used premium wild claw crabmeat, which is about half the price of the lump back fin meat, and perfect for crab cakes.  I cannot even imagine trying these with imitation crabmeat.  What is that anyway?

Now, about that salsa.  I have a love/hate relationship with mangoes.  I love the flavor and consistency.  I hate cutting them.  Determined to get it right this time, I consulted M who, of course, knew how to cut a mango.  Here’s what he had to say.

A properly cut mango

1. Stand the mango on your cutting board on end and grip firmly.  Using a sharp knife, cut down through the mango about 1/4″ from the center. Repeat this on the other side. You will be left with two pieces of mango flesh.  The fibrous middle piece is the seed and cannot be used.

2. Cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin. Turn the mango flesh 1/4 rotation and cut another set of parallel slices to make a checkerboard pattern.

3. Turn the scored mango flesh inside out by pushing the skin up from underneath. Scrape the mango chunks off of the skin, using a knife or a spoon.

The smoky red chile dressing is super easy to make and provides a perfect balance to the tropical fruit flavors and crab.

While it may not be summer just yet, we took a bite, closed our eyes, and were there.

Crab Cakes

adapted from recipe by Bobby Flay

Makes four first-course size cakes

3 tablespoons olive oil

½  medium red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, diced

1/8 cup sour cream

1/8 cup prepared horseradish, drained

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 pound lump crabmeat

1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup cornmeal

Mango Salsa

Smoky Chile Dressing

Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, and onion mixture until combined. Pick over the crabmeat to remove any bits of shell. Add the crab and the flour to the bowl and gently fold to combine; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

3. Divide the chilled crab mixture into 4 patties about 1/2 inch thick. Dredge each cake in the cornmeal and tap off any excess.

4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat and fry the cakes until crusty and lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

5. Place a small puddle of smoky chile dressing on a plate.  Place crab cake in dressing and top with mango salsa and smoky chile sauce. Garnish with chives.

Mango Salsa

adapted from recipe by Bobby Flay

Makes about 1 cup

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced

1 green onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced

½ jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the mango, green onion, jalapeño, lime juice, honey, and oil in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let salsa sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Smoky Chile Dressing

recipe by Bobby Flay

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 clove garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

1/2 tablespoon chipotle chile purée

1/2 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/8 cup canola oil

Combine the vinegar, garlic, onion, chipotle purée, honey and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.  With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified. Can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

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2 Comments

Filed under Entrees, Seafood

2 responses to “Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa and Smoky Chile Dressing

  1. What a wonderful dressing! Yum!

  2. MMM&CMom

    What time is dinner?

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