Saturday, March 21, 2009

Recipe: Lobster and Crab Burger with Tartar Sauce and Corn Relish

Lobster and Crab Burger with Tartar Sauce and Corn Relish

Chef Michael Hillyer – The Capital Grille, Seattle

Serves 4


1 pound lobster meat, broken into pieces (largest piece ¾ inch)
1 pound Dungeness crabmeat
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon parsley, freshly chopped
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, preferably clarified
4 brioche buns or hamburger buns

For tartar sauce (yields 1½ cups):
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup half-sour pickles, seeds removed, diced
1 tablespoon red onion, diced
1 tablespoon celery (with leaves), diced
1 tablespoon parsley, freshly chopped
1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers
2 teaspoons caper juice (from the jar)
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch ground white pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper

For corn relish (yields 2 cups):
3 ears corn (¾ pound of corn), freshly shucked
Ice water, for shocking the corn
⅓ cup red bell peppers, diced
⅓ cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons Pompeian® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tablespoon Pompeian® Red Wine Vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently squeeze all of the excess moisture from the lobster and crab meats. Carefully examine the lobster and crab meat a handful at a time and remove any shell fragments. Set aside. Mix the dry mustard, Worcestershire, parsley, eggs, mayonnaise, onion powder and salt in a large mixing bowl, then fold in the cleaned lobster and crab meat. Stir until just combined to maintain the texture of the seafood. Gently fold in the bread crumbs and mix until just combined. Do not add more bread crumbs.

Allow the mixture to rest so the bread crumbs have adequate time to absorb any excess moisture. The crab cakes should be extremely moist and tender, just to the point of falling apart. Divide the crab cake mixture into 4 portions and shape into burger forms that fit the buns. Heat the clarified butter in a skillet until just smoking and sauté the crab burgers over medium heat until golden brown. Move them to a baking tray and place in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to ensure the centers are hot.

While the crab burgers are roasting, toast the brioche buns. Serve the burgers in the buns with a dollop of tartar sauce and a side of corn relish. (See accompanying recipes.)

To prepare tartar sauce:
Combine all of the ingredients in a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until combined. Place ½ cup of the tartar sauce in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are blended. Combine the puréed mixture into the original bowl and stir well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. This sauce is best made the night before to allow the flavors to develop.

To prepare corn relish:
Place the peeled ears of corn, with all silk removed from the exterior of each cob, in boiling water. Simmer for 7 minutes, drain, and shock in ice water. Holding the cob by the root end, slide a paring knife toward the cutting board, cutting the corn kernels from the cob. Place the corn in a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl. Add all of the other ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.

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