Crab Cakes with Chipotle Cream Sauce

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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2 pounds fresh crab meat, free of shell and cartilage
4 eggs, well beaten
2 cloves garlic, pressed
8 slices soft white bread, crust removed
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbsp. pilsner beer
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. white pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp. cayenne chile powder
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Canola oil for frying.

1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, mustard, cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, butter, white pepper, salt and cayenne. Mix well with a whisk.

2. Tear the bread into 3/4″ pieces and sprinkle beer over it. Gently toss to mix in the beer. Fold the crab meat and beer-soaked bread into the above mixture. Mix gently.

3. Form the mixture into 12 patties, about 1″ thick and approximately 3″ wide. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. Heat 3/4″ canola oil in a large, heavy skillet to medium high. Its easier to manage the cakes if you do not cook more than 4 at a time. They are a bit fragile so take your time and handle them gently. When the oil is hot, fry them 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Arrange the cakes on a platter and garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro and serve right away with Chipotle Cream Sauce. (See recipe under Sauces-Chipotle). Serve with baked potato and salad.

Recipe by Larry Noggle.