Crab Cakes

2 cups diced Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup each of minced shallots and garlic
1 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons thinly sliced serrano chiles
2 tablespoons each of sugar and lime juice
1/4 pound fresh scallops, muscle removed
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups chopped cilantro
2 egg whites
1 cup heavy cream
6 dried ancho chiles
1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds premium lump crabmeat (can substitute shredded crabmeat-white fish mixtures for 2/3 of crabmeat)
1/2 cup minced parsley

Combine tomatoes, shallots, garlic, onions, serranos, sugar, and juice. Let marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.

To make scallop mousse, pulse scallops, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup cilantro in processor until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add egg whites; process until smooth and thickened, scraping sides of bowl if necessary. Drizzle in cream, and process until well mixed and firm.

To make ancho purée, place ancho chiles in pot of boiling water. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool. Remove skin and seeds. Purée in processor with wine or stock.

In large saucepan, heat oil and butter until butter begins to brown. Add tomato marinade. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to a few tablespoons.

In mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup ancho purée (reserve remainder for ancho chile sauce) and 2/3 crabmeat. Mix well, and add to saucepan. Cook on medium-high for several minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat. Add parsley and remaining cilantro; let mixture cool. Fold in scallop mousse and remaining crabmeat, and form into 10 three-inch-round cakes. Wrap in waxed paper; freeze until ready to cook.

To cook, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place crab cakes on greased baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Serve with ancho chile sauce. Serves 8 to 10.

Ancho Chile Sauce

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups low-salt chicken stock
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 cup ancho purée (reserved from crab cake recipe)
1/2 tablespoon Sambal Oelek chile paste
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in oven-proof saucepan. Slowly add flour; whisk to combine. Bring to simmer; slowly whisk in stock. Place uncovered in oven, and cook for 45 minutes. Skim clarified butter from top.

In heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water, and caramelize to golden color. Add ancho purée, and cook about 2 minutes, until purée takes on maroon hue. Add stock mixture and chile paste; mix well. Add cream; barely simmer about 20 minutes. Add juice, salt, and pepper. Serve over crab cakes. Serves 8 to 10.

From Savoring Summer, featured in Domain, May 1990