Deconstructed Crab Cakes in Polenta Nests
Lars Leicht

(crab, lemon juice, mayonnaise, cornmeal)

Deconstructed Crab Cakes in Polenta Nests
Deconstructed Crab Cakes in Polenta Nests

Yield: 4 servings


Crab Mixture
9 oz fresh crab meat, the best available
1/3 C fresh chives
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 - 1/3 C homemade mayonnaise
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Polenta Nests
½ C slow cooking polenta
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
3 C Hot water

    Polenta Nests:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease 3-quart non-stick, oven-proof skillet with olive oil.
  3. Pour in the corn meal, 3 C water, ½ tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp olive oil, stirring to blend.
  4. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes; stir the polenta, adjust seasoning and bake for another 10 minutes until it is no longer watery and reaches a texture similar to mashed potatoes.
  5. Remove from oven, spread on a wooden board or silicone mat to about ½-in thick and allow to cool for 15 min. or more.
  6. Turn on the oven broiler to preheat.
  7. Using cookie cutter or an inverted glass, cut the polenta into small rounds about 2-in in diameter.
  8. Scrape out a little hollow in each round, being careful not to pierce it through. Give the rounds a brush of oil, and sprinkle with a bit of coarse sea salt.
  9. Place under the broiler a few minutes to crisp them.

  1. Mix crab meat with 1/4-1/3 Cup mayonaise (or more to taste), chopped chives, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Divide the crab mixture into each polenta nest.
  3. Garnish with more chopped chives, and a dusting of paprika.
  4. Serve immediately.