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Culinary SOS

A Pairing Worth Sharing

July 24, 2002|CINDY DORN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DEAR SOS: We visited the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite and had lunch at the Jackalope Bar & Grill. My companion ordered crab cakes with salsa. He gave me a taste, and I loved them!

GINNY PAYNE

Torrance

DEAR GINNY: Much like your companion, the executive chef of Tenaya Lodge, Fred Clabaugh, is happy to share.

Plate from Windows, Pasadena.

Send requests to Culinary SOS, Food Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 or e-mail to: cindy.dorn@ latimes.com. Please include your last name and city of residence for publication. Include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants.

Panko are Japanese bread crumbs. Look for them at Asian markets.

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Crab Cakes

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes

SPICY TOMATO PUREE

2 1/2 tomatoes, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 jalapeno, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1/4 tablespoon pepper

Cook the tomatoes, shallots and jalapeno in the butter over medium heat until tender and the tomatoes, shallots and jalapeno start to break down, 12 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper while cooking.

Puree the mixture in a food processor or blender. Set aside while you make the crab cakes.

CRAB CAKES

1 1/4 pounds lump crab meat, drained

2 1/2 cups mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3/4 cup diced celery

1 1/4 cups diced onions

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 cups panko, divided

6 tablespoons butter, divided

Combine the crab, mayonnaise, mustard, celery, onions, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs in a bowl and mix well. Carefully form the mixture into 12 patties; the crab mixture will be very moist and tender, so gently work each patty, pressing and compacting it, with your hands until it holds its shape. Bread the patties in the remaining panko.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium heat and brown the crab cakes, 4 at a time, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the crab cakes from the skillet, add more butter, and repeat until all crab cakes are cooked.

To serve, place 2 crab cakes in the center of each plate and garnish with the tomato puree.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings: 612 calories; 0 sodium; 127 mg cholesterol; 44 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 23 grams protein; 1.35 grams fiber.

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