Lunchbreak: Sophie’s chef Ron Aleman makes jumbo lump crab cakes

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700 N. Michigan Avenue, 7th Floor
(312) 525-3400

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 – 5 oz crab cake
1 oz baby spinach
1 small shallot, diced
1 oz tomato veloute
1 tablespoon tartar sauce

Heat 1 Tbs oil over hight heat. Add crab cake and reduce heat to medium high. Cook until golden brown. Flip crab cake and place in oven for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat another pan over high heat. Add 1 Tbs oil and spinach and quickly saute. Add shallots and season with salt.  Remove from heat. Gently warm veloute and place in serving vessel for tableside service. Plate spinach in bottom of bowl. Top with crabcake. Top crabcake with tartar sauce.

Crab Cakes

3 pounds jumbo lump crab meat
3 Tablespoons celery leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
1/2 cup crab mayo

Gently pick through crab meat and remove any small shells.  Set crab aside.  Mix together the celery leaves, breadcrumbs and mayo.  Gently fold crab into mayo mixture.  Be careful not to overmix or break up lumps of crab meat.  Shape into 5 oz. portions.

Tartar Sauce

2 hardboiled eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons cornichon
2 teaspoons capers
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dill, chopped
juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper to taste

Separate the yolk from the white of the egg.  In a small bowl, combine yolk, mayo and yogurt.  In a medium bowl, combine cornichon, capers, herbs and chopped egg white.  Add yogurt/mayo mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tomato Veloute

1 oz extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Spanish onion, small dice
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 Tablespoons thyme, chopped
3 oz carrots, shredded
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
salt to taste

Heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic to infuse flavor into oil.  Saute for 10 seconds, then remove garlic.  Add onion and sweat until translucent.  Add thyme and carrot and cook until carrots are soft (approximately  8 minutes).  Place tomatoes into large mixing bowl.  Using hands, crush tomatoes with their juices.  Add tomatoes to pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring often.  Lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until sauce is thick.  Place in blender with vegetable stock and blend until smooth.  Strain.  Transfer to clean, dry container and cool in an ice bath.

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