A Top Chefs Crab Cakes Recipe

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Ask Chef Christopher Perera how he deals with dietary restrictions and he’ll tell you about the pickiest patron he’s ever served at Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel‘s restaurant.

“She was allergic to everything,” he explains. “She said she didn’t want butter, she wanted sea salt… Just a simple piece of fish and some steamed vegetables.”

No, the picky patron wasn’t Jennifer Lopez, although she dined at the hotel two years ago with her husband Marc Anthony (“Simple people, very nice,” Perera says.). She was just a normal person with particular dietary preferences.

The thing is, she’s not alone in her food fickleness. Most people who dine out these days have restrictive diets, because of food allergies, diseases (like diabetes) or personal preferences (such as veganism).

“Everybody wants healthy, simple food,” he says.

Which is why Perera decided to create a unique class of dishes called “entrée salads” that anyone with dietary restrictions can eat.

All of the dishes have less sodium, which can help prevent heart disease. They also substitute virgin oil with olive oil (which has less saturated fat and helps control cholesterol levels). None of the entrée salads have gluten, apart from the crostini in the classic Caesar salad, which can be removed.

These dishes may sound boring, but they aren’t. To dress up a dish, Perera uses simple spices and herbs such as rosemary, cilantro and thyme.

And if winter has you in the mood for something hardier than a salad, not to worry — Perera’s new menu offers several dishes that follow the same simple and healthy rules.

A delicious example is this blue crab cakes dish (we have an exclusive copy of the recipe below) — they’re made with 90 per cent real crab meat, along with chopped celery, carrots and seasoning.

“It’s a little more expensive, but I want people, when they come [to this hotel] to have a memory of what they ate.”

Even the picky woman from earlier loved the healthy meal Perera prepared for her. She left saying, “‘This is one of the best meals I’ve ever had,” he adds.

Blue Crab Cakes

Courtesy of Chef Christopher Perera at the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel.

Ingredients:

1 Can blue crab meat
1 Can lump crab meat
¼ Carrots brunoise (small diced)
¼ Onions brunoise (small diced)
1 Stalk Celery brunoise (small diced)
1 Large Yukon gold potato brunoise
1 tsp. Chopped Garlic
2 tbsp. Chopped Parsley
1 Whole egg
1 tbsp Mayonnaise
Salt, Pepper, Tabasco & Worcestershire Sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. Sautée the brunoise of carrot, celery, potato and onions. Add garlic.
  2. After the vegetables and garlic have been sautéed, set aside and allow to cool.
  3. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the crab meat and make sure there are no bones.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sautéed vegetable mixture with the crab.
  5. Add the parsley and eggs. Make sure the crab is still chunked.
  6. Season with salt, pepper Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Mold into two ounce patties.
  8. Brown each patty — in a pan with oil — on each side then finish on broil in the oven for five minutes.

Makes 12 to 14 Cakes.

Author by Jacqueline Delange

 

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