Crab Fritters with Mild Green Tabasco Cream Sauce

Cooking With Rania - "More Southern Cooking"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 8/15/2012

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Crab Fritters with Mild Green Tabasco Cream Sauce

For the Fritters:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 pound lump crabmeat
1/4 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1/4 pound crab claw meat
1 cup panko bread crumbs plus 1/2 cup for coating
4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

For the Cream Sauce:
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups white wine
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 5-ounce bottle Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
1 quart (4 cups) heavy cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Garnish:
Fresh parsley, chopped

Begin by prepping the fritters. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Old Bay Seasoning, lemon juice, dried parsley, egg, salt, and pepper, whisking until smooth. Thoroughly pick over the crabmeat and remove any shells or hard shards. Add all crabmeat to the mayonnaise mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon, stirring to combine. Stir in 1 cup of the Panko breadcrumbs until evenly combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the fritter mixture.

Meanwhile, prepare the cream sauce. Combine the lemon juice, white wine, rice wine vinegar, and shallot in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce by half, or until about 1 cup of liquid remains. Add the Tabasco and cream, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with enough cool water (roughly 3 to 4 tablespoons) to liquefy it, forming a slurry. Stir until a smooth, loose paste forms. Add the paste to the sauce, whisking to combine. Simmer the sauce gently until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Next, shape and cook the fritters. Using your hands or a small scoop, shape the cooled fritter mixture into 1-ounce balls. You should be able to make about 24. Place the reserved 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Roll each of the fritters gently in the crumbs to coat evenly. Heat the oil in a cast-iron pan or heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. When sizzling, arrange the fritters in a single layer in the pan and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. You may need to work in batches. Turn each fritter and fry on the other side. Remove fritters from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce on each of six plates, spreading to form a pool. Top with 4 fritters and garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes about 24 fritters or 6 servings

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