Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Crab Cake Gourmet

Crab cakes have that crunch and golden brown color since they are made from breadcrumbs and egg then fried to a crisp. But Chef Luc Huysentruyt of the De Snippe restaurant in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, breaks the tradition by making the crab cakes out of a gelatin mold using beef jelly as the binder to the crab meat, pistachios, olives, carrots, and zucchini. Instead of a hot crab cake, you get a chilled wonder on a bed of string beans. A dollop of sour cream finishes the dish.

Select the best quality white crab meat you can find since its freshness will be more pronounced in this form compared to when fried. Everything tastes great fried so you will have to make a little effort in procuring the best ingredients for this reworked classic. For convenience, buy the pre-cooked and frozen crab meat at the grocery or supermarket. If you have an abundance of crabs at your disposal, you can also simply steam fresh live crab and pick the crab meat for use in this recipe.

The second important component of chef Huysentruyt’s recipe is the beef stock, which helps produce not only a fantastic flavor for the recipe but also helps in making the delicious and savory jelly. Its meat and bones have natural gelatin properties, producing a stock that will be easier to firm up later. Prepare a good and strong stock that has a clear color. Strain, degrease, reduce and clarify the stock so it’s as clear as daylight. There are lots of tips in this site like on how to pliage de napkin, just go in the site and enjoy.

The Verjus, a wine vinegar from green grapes, helps in flavoring and coagulating the beef jelly. The best ones are sourced from Perigord. To help mimic the textures in crab meat, crushed pistachios, leeks, carrots, celery and zucchini are added into the stock and suspended when the gelatin powder firms it up. Celebrate this quirky dish with a glass of Pouilly fuissé, a white wine from Burgundy.


crab meat
10 oz. of frost made with the clear beef soup
10 oz. Verjus (green grape fruit wine vinegar)
gelatin powder
carrots, leek, celery, zucchini
string beans
10 oz. sour cream liquid
dried vegetables

1. In a saucepan, combine the clear beef stock and the Verjus du Perigord. Simmer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in the chopped pistachios, leeks, carrots, celery, and zucchini. Stir. Set aside to cool then add gelatin powder.

2. In a clean container or mold, arrange the crabmeat at the bottom layer. Then pour the beef stock mixture on top of the crabmeat. Do not stir. Refrigerate.

3. In a serving plate, make a bed of tomatoes, olives, and string beans. Take out the crabmeat mixture from the refrigerator and arrange on top of the vegetables. Garnish with sour cream and dried vegetables.

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