Crab Cakes with Gingered Grapefruit and Avocado

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Serves 4 to 6 as a main course; 12 as a first course

1 pink grapefruit

1⁄2 cup ginger syrup (recipe below)

4 1⁄2 teaspoons Colman’s dry mustard

1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon finely ground celery seeds

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3⁄4 teaspoon green Tabasco sauce

1⁄2 teaspoon red Tabasco sauce

1⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

3⁄4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil, plus more for frying

1 1⁄2 pounds picked peekytoe lump crabmeat, picked over for bits of shell

4 slices good white bread, crusts removed and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes (2 1⁄4 cups)

2 tablespoons Wondra flour

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced

Use a sharp knife to trim the top and bottom from the grapefruit, then cut off the peel and pith. Holding the grapefruit over a medium bowl, slice between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments into the bowl. Pour the ginger syrup over the grapefruit. Let stand while you prepare the crab cakes.

Whisk together the yoke, mustard, salt, celery seeds, lemon juice, both Tabasco sauces, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the mixture. Gently fold in the crab and bread.

Form the mixture into twelve 3-inch-round patties and dust with Wondra. Coat a large nonstick pan with oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add 4 patties to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total, carefully turning once. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining patties, wiping out the pan and adding and heating more oil between batches.

Divide the avocado slices among serving plates. Spoon the grapefruit and its syrup all around and place the crab cakes on top.

Ginger Syrup

Makes about 1 cup

1 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger

1 cup sugar

1 cup fresh lemon juice

Combine the ginger, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain through a sieve into a container, pressing on the ginger; discard the dinger. The syrup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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