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Throwdown Crab Cakes with Basil Vinaigrette

Blue Corn Crab Cakes with Black Olive-Red Pepper Relish & Basil Vinaigrette
Yields: 8 crab cakes

6 tablespoons olive oil 
1 medium red onion, diced 
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, diced 
¼ cup crème fraiche or sour cream
¼ cup prepared horseradish, drained 
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ pounds crabmeat, picked over
2-4 tablespoons Wondra flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
2 cups blue cornmeal

1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sauté 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, crème fraiche until combined. Add the crab meat 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 a 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 cornmeal and tap off excess.
4. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick sauté 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
2 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and diced
¼ 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

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 cup tightly packed chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Water
2 teaspoons honey
Kosher salt

Combine the basil, mayonnaise, vinegar and a little water in a blender and blend until smooth. The vinaigrette should be slightly pourable, if too thick to pour, add a little more water. Add the honey and salt to taste and blend a few more seconds. 


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