Crab Cakes with Avocado Cream

by Kimberly Hickok

Every year my husband Mark and his business partner Don treat us to a holiday dinner. The four of us usually go out to a restaurant but we did things differently in 2020 (COVID!!!!). We had an awesome dinner IN and hired a chef. It was amazing. My recipe for crab cakes with avocado cream is inspired by this fabulous meal. You’ll have to scroll down for the recipe because FIRST I have to tell you about this fantastic four course meal.

Don knew Chef X (Xavier Jones) from the Thirsty Owl Wine Bar and Bistro in Saratoga Springs, NY. Chef X was the Executive Chef there. Don stayed in contact with Chef X after he left Thirsty Owl and had engaged him for private dinners several times. He recommended that we hire him for our holiday dinner. Best decision ever!

Here’s how it works. You choose the proteins you want for four courses. We selected seafood, duck and beef. Then you let him know of any dietary restrictions and allergies. Chef then creates each course. You don’t have to, but you can shop with the Chef if you like. Don wanted to so he and Chef met at our local Whole Foods. Chef X arrived in our kitchen around 3pm to begin prepping for our four course meal.

Let’s just say that I knew it was going to be good when the first thing he did was break down the duck so he could begin rendering the fat to use for our potato dish . . .

Course 1 – Seafood with Avocado Three Ways

We started off our meal with Avocado Three Ways. Beautifully poached lobster and crab were placed on top of a silky avocado cream and then topped with an avocado pico de gallo and served with a slice of avocado lightly dusted with corn meal freshly milled flour and quickly pan fried. I’ve eaten a lot of things and I have never had avocado cream (more about that later).

Course 2 – Scallops with Corn Three Ways

Next up, perfectly cooked scallops with a fresh corn chowder that was topped with chorizo and corn. The scallops were also coated with corn. Using chorizo instead of bacon in the chowder was brilliant!

Course 3 – Duck with Sweet Potato Apple Has

We LOVE duck but prefer it more medium than super rare. Chef X made it perfectly and the hash that was served with it was to die for! I will be attempting to duplicate it for sure. Sweet potatoes and apples cooked perfectly – both the apples and potato were still firm yet tender. Fat rendered from the chorizo gave it a smoky flavor. A dark amber maple syrup swirled on the plate added another layer of sweetness that paired perfectly with the duck.

Course 4 – Filet and Shrimp with Duck Fat Potatoes

By the time we got to this course, I was about ready to say ‘Uncle’. I was getting FULL but when Chef X presented this last course, I found a way to make room. This was definitely a showstopper – potatoes cooked in duck fat (creamy/crispy), topped with sauteed spinach, a perfectly cooked filet and topped with two tender shrimp with beurre monté.

On to the recipe

What I didn’t realize is that we get to KEEP ALL THE LEFTOVERS!!!! After the meal I had a bunch of crab meat and some of the avocado pico de gallo but we had eaten all the avocado cream. CRISIS!!!! I’ve made crab cakes a bazillion times but had no idea how to make the avocado cream. I figured it out. So easy. You will need a blender for this, though.

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Chef X is available for private and corporate cooking events and cooking lessons too in New York’s Capital Region and The Berkshires in Massachusetts! The best way to reach him is via email

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