Blue Crab Cakes

Submitted by Magnolias Restaurant

For the black beans:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups black beans
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 ham hock or smoked neck bone (optional)

For the crab cakes:

  • 1 pound jumbo lump or lump crab meat
  • 1/2 cup finely minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely minced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper Cayenne pepper, to taste

For the tomato-chive butter:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 pound whole butter, unsalted, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt Pinch of white pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced fresh chives

For the rice:

  • 2 cups Carolina Plantation Aromatic Rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt

To make the black beans: Rinse the beans and pick over them to be sure that there are no foreign objects. Chop, measure and assemble remaining ingredients. Place all ingredients in a heavy stock pot and cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Skim off any foam that may come to the surface. As the beans become very soft, stir briskly to break up some of the beans and make them creamy. Check the seasonings and adjust the consistency if needed, using a little chicken broth or water.

To make the crab cakes: Gently pick over the crab to remove any shell without shredding the lumpy meat. Place the crab, bell pepper, onion, tarragon and mayonnaise in a mixing bowl. Mix gently to combine. Add the bread crumbs and season with salt, white pepper and cayenne to taste. Let the mixture rest for 3-4 minutes so that the bread crumbs can absorb some of the moisture and the cakes will stay together. Form six equal-size cakes and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so before cooking.

To cook, sear in a small amount of hot oil, turning when golden brown, until cakes are heated through.

To make the tomato-chive butter: Warm the olive oil in a heavy pan and saute the shallots until they are translucent. Add the tomato juice and cook until at medium-high until mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Add the cream and cook until mixture thickens again. Turn the heat down and add the butter a little bit at a time until all is incorporated. Remove from the heat and add the salt, pepper and chives. Hold in a warm area until it's time to serve.

To make the rice: Place the rice in a strainer and rinse well with cold water to wash away some unwanted starch. Place rice in a sauce pot, add the 2 cups water and the salt, and cover with a lid. Place over high heat and bring up to a boil. When you see the steam, lower the heat a bit, but not too much. It's best not to peek because that allows steam to escape. The rice will steam for about 15 minutes. When you remove the lid, little steam holes should be present on the surface of the rice. Let the rice rest for a minute or two, then fluff with a fork. Keep warm until time to serve.

Serve crab cakes with tomato-chive butter, black beans and rice.