Chef Christopher Lee offers this first course of chilled corn soup topped with a crisp crab cake and a drizzle of vibrant cayenne oil.
For the Corn Soup, heat oil in large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes or until translucent. Add water, corn, bay leaf, star anise and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 25 minutes. Add heavy cream; simmer 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and star anise
With center part of cover removed to let steam escape, puree soup in batches in blender on high speed until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve
For the Cayenne Oil, heat oil and cayenne pepper in small saucepan on low heat 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Place oil mixture in blender container; cover. Blend on high speed 3 minutes. Strain oil through coffee filter. Oil can be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month. (Recipe for Cayenne Oil may be halved
For the Crab Cakes, mix crabmeat, mayonnaise, shallots, celery, chives, parsley, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper in large bowl until well mixed. Refrigerate 30 minutes to blend flavors
Form crabmeat mixture into 8 crab cakes. Place flour, eggs and panko bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes. Dip each crab cake on both sides first into flour, then egg and finally panko bread crumbs. Remove any excess coating by gently patting each crab cake. Refrigerate 30 minutes
Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add crab cakes in batches; pan fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels
To serve, place a crab cake in each wide, shallow soup bowl. Ladle chilled Corn Soup around crab cake. (Soup can also be served hot.) Drizzle soup with about 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Oil. Garnish with fresh chervil, if desired
Test Kitchen Tips:
•Star anise and panko are available in the Asian section of the supermarket, or in gourmet or Asian markets.
•Canola, vegetable or soybean oil can be substituted for the grapeseed oil.
This recipe was created by Christopher Lee, Executive Chef at New York’s Aureole restaurant.