Baked Crab Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce

Circle B Kitchen

Adapted from Gourmet

Yield: Makes 4 main-course or 8 appetizer servings

For sauce

1 ripe medium California avocado, peeled and pitted

1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (may need more)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 chopped Serrano or jalapeno pepper

¼ cup milk (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

For crab cakes

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over and coarsely shredded

3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup minced fresh chives or scallions

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 – 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Make sauce:

Pulse avocado with mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, and one half of the chile in a food processor until chile is finely chopped. Taste and add more chile if desired. If you would like to thin the sauce, add a little milk and purée until smooth. Stir in the chopped cilantro and transfer sauce to a bowl and chill, covered.

Make crab cakes:

Gently stir together crabmeat, mayonnaise, egg, chives or scallions, lemon juice, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Form into4 or 8 patties, cover and chill for about an hour.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over moderate heat, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, and panko and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a plate to cool. Discard garlic. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

Carefully turn each chilled patty in the crumb mixture to coat top and bottom. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining mounds, then sprinkle remaining crumbs on top of crab cakes. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve crab cakes with sauce.