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Corn Tortilla Crab Cake w/ Horseradish Aioli

During this round of pairings, I finally had the opportunity to sneak one of my all time favorite ingredients into the limelight. The winter months in San Francisco gives us the wonderfully delicious Dunguness Crab. When asked about a pairing for a Sauvignon Blanc, I was eager to get a crab dish into the mix. Although this recipe uses fresh, lump Dunguness crab meat, any good lump crab meat will do.

One of the requirements put forth on me for this pairing was to make it gluten free; a recipe to appeal to the new trend in dieting. I jumped at the opportunity to try something new and fresh. A few months back, I was a guest chef in a hugely successful Pop-up restaurant with a menu devoted to crab. On our menu, we built a crab ‘meatball’ using some unique twists to compliment the flavor of the crustacean. In particular we used corn bread as our binding agent and some roasted scallions as an aromatic addition. I took these ideas and put them into this particular crab cake. Instead of the corn bread, I leaned on some ground up corn tortilla chips. This provided a really nice sweetness and texture to the crab cake, and also worked extremely well with the charred scallions. The construction of the crab cake was kept relatively simple, letting the crab meat shine.

The other main requirement for this dish was to construct a killer sauce. It might look a little complicated, but trust me its very easy. The additions of the cilantro and horseradish really make this sauce pop, and couldn’t be a better pairing for the crab. Try this recipe soon! And don’t forget to pair with this wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. You will be going back for seconds.


In a food processor, combine horseradish, mayo, Dijon, salt, roasted garlic, cilantro, lemon juice and olive oil. Puree until all ingredients are combined and Aioli has a light green tint. Set aside for service.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine crab, green onions, lemon zest, 1 cup of tortilla crumbs, salt and mix well. Scramble the egg and pour over the crab mixture and fold until incorporated. In a separate plate, pour remainder of tortilla crumbs out for breading.

Grab a handful of the crab mixture and shape into a patty (about 3 inches in diameter), and dredge in tortilla crumbs. Repeat until all crab is used. Should yield 3-4 patties.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium — high heat. Place patties gently into pan and cook 3-4 minutes a side, until crust is a dark golden brown.

Once cooked on both sides, remove to a paper towel to dry and rest.

Serve with heaping tablespoon of Aioli & fresh lemon wedge.