Thursday, February 5, 2015

Crab Cakes Over Polenta Cakes with Garlic Basil Aioli

I just finished taking my Culinary Boot Camp.  I learned some things, but it wasn't hands on, AT ALL!!!  So I was left to do a lot of cooking at home.  My husband was happy.  

He was especially happy with this dish.  I combined three of the recipes that we were given.  I made crab cakes and served them over polenta cakes (my husband thought he didn't like polenta as did I) and I topped it all with a garlic basil aioli.

It was really good!!!  The asparagus recipe I will post at a later time.

Crab Cakes on Polenta with Garlic Basil Aioli

2 cups whole milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 small onion diced
1 bay leaf
1 cup polenta – coarse corn meal
¼ stick butter
1 large egg yolk
Juice of half a lemon
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
½ tsp. Garlic powder
3 fresh Garlic grated
2 tablespoons water
½ cup corn oil or vegetable oil
2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
Crab Cakes:
1 large egg
2 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
¼ cup finely diced celery, from one stalk
¼ cup finely diced onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 lb. lump crab meat
½ cup panko
Spray a 13xx1 inch baking dish with cooking spray
Saute the onion in a pot large enough to accommodate all of the liquids, add the milk, stock and the bay leaf to the sauted onion and simmer in the heavy sauce pan.  
Remove sauce pan from heat. Discard the bay leaf.  Bring liquid to a boil. 
Gradually add polenta, whisking constantly until smooth. 
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until polenta is very thick, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer polenta to 13x9x1 inch backing sheet.  Using wet hands, press polenta evenly over the sheet to the edges.  
Chill until firm, at least 3 hours.   Remove from oven and fry on both sides for about1 minute on each side.  Use the oil that the crab cakes have been cooked in to fry the polenta after the crab cakes are done.
In a metal mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolk, 2 tablespoons water, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt until blended.  Whisking constantly, slowly drip in the oil, 1 teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened and emulsified.
Whisking constantly, add in garlic powder, additional salt, black pepper, basil and lemon juice. 
Crab Cakes:
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay, salt, pepper, onion, celery, and basil in a large bowl and mix well.  Add the crab meat (be sure to check the meat for any hard and sharp cartilage) and panko; gently fold mixture together until just combined, being careful not to shred the crab meat.  Shape into 6 crab cakes (about 1/3 cup each) and place on prepared baking sheet.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
Preheat a large non-stick pan to medium heat and coat with vegetable oil. When oil is hot, place crab cakes in pan and cook until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.  Be careful as oil may splatter.
Keep crab cakes warm in an oven on low while you fry up the polenta.

Stack crab cakes on top of polenta and spoon aioli on top.  Serves 4 to 6.  

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