Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spicy Crab Cakes with Hatch Chile/Poblano Risotto

It's almost the end of Hatch chile season (sniff), so to say, "Adios" properly to my favorite seasonal pepper, I am doing another Hatch recipe. (This will end soon, I promise!). I love crab cakes, but part of the reason is that I always buy the good stuff: JUMBO LUMP. Don't go buying the stringy stuff and expect it to turn out the same way. Crab meat is like plastic surgery, you don't want the cheapest! I also love risotto, and was a little skeptical at how a "Hatch chile" and "Poblano" pepper version would turn out, but I wanted something with a little kick to support the spicy crab cakes. If you prefer another starch, by all means do a salad, a vegetable etc. The result was a spicy, complex risotto, with lots of flavor and a great amount of heat and a little tartness thanks to the goat cheese. You could potentially use a Queso Fresco as well. Get the recipe after the jump!

Spicy Crab Cakes with Hatch Chile/Poblano Risotto

Serves 4
You Will Need:

For Spicy Crab Cakes
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 scallions, (whites and green parts) thinly sliced
  • 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 hot Hatch chile pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice plus wedges for garnish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 red/serrano or jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 lb Jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 1/4 c Panko 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Whisk first seven ingredients in a medium bowl. Add crab meat; fold to blend with a spatula. Stir in 3/4 cup panko, salt, and pepper. Divide into six equal portions. Form each into 1"-thick patties. Refrigerate for one hour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place remaining panko on a plate. Coat cakes with panko. Fry until golden brown and crisp, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

    For Hatch Chile/Poblano Risotto 
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 cup roasted HOT Hatch chiles, chopped fine
    • 1 cup roasted Poblano peppers, chopped fine
    • 1 tsp minced garlic
    • 2 cups arborio rice
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 6 cups chicken broth, heated, but not boiling
    • 3 T goat cheese
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tsp Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 c scallions, chopped (green parts only)
    Start by prepping the peppers.You can usually buy peppers roasted, but if not, an easy trick is to do them on the top rack under the broiler, until the skin is charred. You can also do this over an open gas flame. When skin is entirely charred, place in zip-loc bag 5 minutes. Skin should peel off easily. Keep the heated stock on the stove top with you so it's handy. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and sweat the onions until soft. Add the peppers, garlic and cumin  and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure each kernel is coated with oil.Add 3 cups of the hot chicken broth. Bring slowly to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. As the broth is absorbed, add more broth, cup by cup and stir often.
    Cook the rice until it is slightly al dente and most of the broth has been absorbed. The rice should be creamy. This should take about 20 minutes. Finish the risotto by stirring in the butter, and goat cheese cheese. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper before serving. 

    Plate heaping risotto portion with crab cake (or cakes) on top.  Sprinkle with extra scallions.

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