The other morning when I woke from a dream, the words for the above-named recipe were in my head, so I dubiously wrote them down. Crab cakes and figs? Sounded weird to me. Even weirder was the idea to poach the figs in cream.
However, I determined to test it out, since I’ve gotten some good ideas from dreams in the past. I went in search of a ready-made crab cake, not wanting to invest in the labor of making my own until I’d tested the idea out. The result was surprisingly good—unbelievably good, in fact. Don’t just take my word for it, though; try this out for yourself!
Crab Cakes with Figs and Cinnamon
Note: You can purchase ready-made crab cakes at many natural foods or grocery stores, or make your own favorite recipe. I used frozen cakes from Trader Joe’s.
Use 2 crab cakes per person
For each crab cake you will need:
4 fresh figs (I used black figs)
2 cardamom pods
For poaching liquid:
½ pt. (1 cup) heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Agave syrup
1 2-inch cinnamon stick, broken
1) Cut the stem off each fig. Poke a small hole in the top of the figs with the tip of a knife, and insert the seeds from the cardamom pods into each fig.
2) Put cream, Agave, empty cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat and simmer until the cream gets slightly caramel-colored. Be aware that cream boils quickly and can boil over if the heat’s too high.
3) Place the figs in the cream, cover the pot and poach for about 8-12 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat.
4) Cook the crab cakes while the figs are poaching. You can bake the cakes on a cookie sheet at 350º F or brown them in a skillet over medium heat, with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Turn each cake once after about 4-5 minutes.
5) When crab cakes are hot and brown, remove to individual plates. Top each cake with 2 figs, and ladle a bit of the poaching cream atop each. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired. Serve at once.
This makes a delectable appetizer, or a main dish. For an entrée, allow 3-4 crab cakes per person, unless they are very large. You can serve them on a bed of lightly steamed kale with lime juice and olive oil, with a side of cooked brown rice or other grains. Depending on the number of people you’re serving, you may need to increase the poaching liquid amounts. You only need a couple of tablespoons to garnish each crab cake.