Friday, January 13, 2012

Date Night : Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Maque Choux & Fried Brussel Sprouts Salad

Crab cakes are my Mountain Man's absolute favorite. Well that and a big ole piece of meat, haha. But, I can't think of anything more "date night"-ish than crab cakes. They are just classic to me. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to serve them with, but I ended up deciding to make a classic Cajun dish called Maque Choux. It's sort of a spicy creamed corn, and it's delicious. But, by far, my favorite part of our meal was the fried brussel sprouts salad. I know, I know, fried brussel sprouts salad is kind of a contradiction. I mean how do you have a fried salad? Well, you can. Once fried up, these babies are like potato chips and have the best nutty taste. Then, the sprouts are tossed in a sweet-tangy dressing until lightly covered. I'm addicted to it, seriously. So good. This was definitely another successful date night in my book, we really look forward to it every week!! Enjoy :)
Crab Cakes with Jalapeno Maque Choux & Fried Brussel Sprouts Salad
Yummy Golden Fried Brussel Sprouts
Top the Crab Cakes with Some Remoulade
For the Crab Cakes:
1lb Crabmeat, Picked Free of Shells
½C Crushed Crackers
¼C Fresh Chives, Finely Sliced
½C Red Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
¼C Mayo
1 Egg
1t Worcestershire Sauce
1t Dry Mustard
1T Lemon Juice
¼t Garlic Powder
¼t Cayenne
 Salt & Pepper, To Taste
½C Flour
1 Egg
2T Milk
1C Panko Breadcrumbs
Oil, For Frying
Remoulade Sauce

For the Jalapeno Maque Choux:
1 ½C Heavy Cream
8 Whole Cloves of Garlic
1 Jalapeno, Diced
2t Vegetable Oil
½C Onion, Red Bell Pepper, & Celery (all diced)
2C Charred Corn
1t Fresh Garlic, Minced
2 Fresh Jalapenos, Diced
1 Shallot, Diced
1 Green Onion, Sliced
1C Prepared Garlic Cream
1t Cajun Seasoning
Salt & Pepper, To Taste
For the Fried Brussel Sprouts Salad:
1lb Brussel Sprouts, Trimmed & Quartered
Canola Oil, For Frying
1T Olive Oil
1T Apple Cider Vinegar
2T Maple Syrup
1t Dijon Mustard
1T Grainy Mustard
1t Garlic, Minced
Salt & Pepper To Taste

1. For the Crab cakes: In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, except for the flour, panko, and peanut oil. Shape into patties and dust with the flour. Put the crab crakes onto a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Make a battering station, one container with the egg and milk and another with the panko breadcrumbs. Once chilled, coat the crab cakes in the egg wash and follow with a crust of panko. In a large skillet over, heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the crab cakes, in batches, and fry until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully flip the crab cakes and fry on the other side until golden brown, about another 4 minutes.
2. For the Jalapeno Maque Choux: Place the cream in a heavy sauce pot and add in the garlic cloves and jalapeno. Bring the cream to a simmer, and then turn down the heat to low-medium heat. Let it reduce to 1 cup. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter to the pan and cook until the butter is melted, about 45 seconds. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery to the pan and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, and the peppers and celery are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the corn, garlic, Essence, salt and cayenne to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the prepared garlic cream to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Continue to cook the corn until tender and most of the cream has reduced and the maque choux is creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
3. For the Fried Brussel Sprouts Salad: Heat the canola oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustards, garlic, & seasonings in a small bowl until combined. Set it aside. Once your oil has heated, deep fry the brussel sprouts in small batches until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3-4 minutes. Drain from the oil onto a paper towel. Toss the fried brussel sprouts in the maple-mustard vinaigrette right before serving.
4. Assembling the Dish: Plate the Jalapeno Maque Choux on the plate and top it with the crab cake. Spoon some of the fried brussel sprouts around the corn. Drizzle some of the Remoulade on top.

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