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The texture of the Dungeness crab meat is finer than, say, king crab. Tastewise it’s a tad sweeter. Both taste and texture make it ideal for today’s crab cake recipe, but you can easily substitute blue or king crab.

Dungeness crab average about

2 pounds; figure one crab per person.

And if crab isn’t your thing, Pacific Northwest and Alaskan salmon is another favorite.

When buying salmon for today’s recipes, buy a center-cut fillet for the best presentation. Have your fish monger cut it for you. Having the

fillets all the same size means they will cook evenly, and they’ll look nicer on a serving platter.

Sizzling Dungeness

Crab Cakes

Don’t be discouraged by the number of ingredients in this recipe. All stages of the recipe go together easily and can be made ahead. If you buy whole cooked Dungeness crab, you will need at least 3 of them to get one pound of meat. The Thai beurre blanc sauce is rich and sweet and makes a generous 2 cups.

Makes: 8

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

DUNGENESS CRAB CAKES

1/4 cup butter

3 tablespoons minced onions

3 tablespoons minced carrots

3 tablespoons minced celery

2 tablespoons minced yellow bell peppers

2 tablespoons minced red bell peppers

2 tablespoons minced green bell peppers

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 pound Dungeness crab meat (or favorite crab meat)

1 egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 teaspoon sea salt

11/2 cups flour

12/3 cups egg wash (3 eggs mixed with 1 cup milk)

4 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)

3/4 cup clarified butter

THAI SWEET-AND-SOUR SAUCE

11/2 teaspoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup Thai sweet chile sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

11/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce

11/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic

THAI BEURRE BLANC SAUCE

1 cup white wine

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon finely minced shallots

1/2 cup whipping cream

11/2 cups butter, unsalted, cut into 2-inch chunks

1/2 teaspoon salt, sea or kosher

1 cup Thai sweet-and-sour sauce, from above

FOR ASSEMBLY AND SERVING

24 Dungeness crab cakes, recipe above

2 cups Thai beurre blanc sauce, recipe above

Pickled ginger, for garnish

Daikon sprouts, for garnish

To prepare the Dungeness crab cakes: Heat the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery and bell peppers, and saute until they are tender. Add the heavy cream and let the volume reduce slightly. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl and let it cool for

5 minutes.

Add the crab meat, egg yolk,

pepper and salt.

Put the flour, egg wash and panko breadcrumbs in three separate pans for the breading procedure.

Portion and form the crab cake mix into 24 one-ounce balls.

Start the breading process by first dusting the crab cake ball with flour. Quickly dip the crab cake ball into the egg wash and then place it into the panko crumbs. Gently press and mold the crumbs into the cake, forming a 1/2-inch thick round patty.

Heat the clarified butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and pan-fry the crab cakes on both sides until the exterior is golden brown.

Transfer and hold the crab cakes warm in pan.

To prepare the Thai sweet-and-sour sauce: In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water, mix well, and set the mixture aside.

Combine all the other ingredients together in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sauce reaches 180 degrees. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has a slightly thick texture.

To prepare the Thai beurre blanc sauce: Combine the wine, vinegar and shallots in a saucepan and reduce the volume to a light syrup consistency, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and reduce the volume by about half over medium-high heat.

Slowly add and whip in the butter cubes over low heat until they are melted.

Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, then add the salt and the Thai sweet-and-sour sauce.

To serve: Sauce the front of each of 8 plates with the Thai beurre blanc sauce. Transfer and arrange 3 crab cakes around the outer edge of each plate on the sauce. Garnish the plate with the pickled ginger and daikon sprouts.

From John Howie, Seastar

Restaurant and Raw Bar, Bellevue, Washington.

Nutrition information: 694 calories (59 percent from fat), 46 g fat (27 g saturated fat), 45 g carbohydrates,

24 g protein, 809 mg sodium, 265 mg cholesterol, 110 mg calcium, 2 g fiber.

Baked Salmon Fillets With Herbed-Panko Topping and Tangy Mustard Sauce

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

TOPPING

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (regular or whole wheat)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon Dijon

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

SALMON

4 (5-ounce each) salmon fillets with skin, about 3/4-inch thick

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE

1/3 cup apricot preserves

1 to 2 tablespoons Kream-style mustard (or substitute Dijon)

2 tablespoons orange juice

3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Sauteed greens such as kale or mustard greens

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients; set aside.

Rinse the salmon fillets and pat them dry. Set the fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and black pepper.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the apricot preserves,

mustard and orange juice. Heat until melted and combined. Remove the sauce from the heat and spoon out a few teaspoons into a small bowl or ramekin. Brush about 1 teaspoon on each salmon fillet. Press the panko crumb mixture on each salmon fillet.

Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. For salmon that’s 1 inch thick, 10 minutes is sufficient. If you like salmon flaky, cook it longer.

Set the saucepan with the remaining sauce on low heat and whisk in the heavy whipping cream. Heat until the mixture is a sauce-like consistency. Add more heavy cream if

desired or more orange juice. The sauce should have hints of tang and heat, balanced with some sweetness.

To serve the fish, remove from the oven and slide a spatula between the skin and flesh. Serve fillets over a bed of sauteed greens.

Nutrition data not available.

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