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Palace Cafe Crabmeat Cheesecake

Source: neworleansonline.com - Palace Cafe, New Orleans, Louisiana

This is one of the Palace Cafe's signature dishes.

Serves 8.

Pecan Crust
1/4 cup pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold
3 tablespoons ice water

Filling
1/2 cup Onion, small diced
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces crabmeat
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup Creole cream cheese or sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (we use Crystal brand hot sauce)
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Meuniere Sauce
1 lemon, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound butter, cold, cut into small cubes
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Garnish
2 cups sliced mixed wild mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter, softened
24 crab claw fingers
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Pecan Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Finely grind pecans in a food processor. Add flour and salt. Mix well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and cut in butter, working butter into flour with two knives until dough is in crumbs the size of small peas. Add ice water and evenly incorporate into the mixture, which should remain fairly crumbly. Roll out dough to an 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Press dough into a lightly greased 9-inch tart pan, starting with the sides and then the bottom. Bake crust for 20 minutes, or until golden. Note: Dough can be made ahead of time. If doing so, wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Allow dough to come to room temperature before rolling out.

Filling: Saut? onion in butter until translucent. Add crabmeat and cook just until heated through, then remove from heat. Blend cream cheese until smooth in a mixer fitted with a paddle, or by hand using a wooden spoon. Add Creole cream cheese and mix well. Mix in eggs one at a time. Gently fold in crabmeat mixture. Stir in hot sauce and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Spoon filling into prepared crust. Bake at 300 for 30-40 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Meuniere Sauce and Garnish: Combine lemon, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce in a heavy saucepot. Reduce over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until mixture becomes thick and syrupy. Whisk in heavy whipping cream. Reduce heat to low and slowly blend in butter one cube at a time, adding additional butter only after previously added butter has completely incorporated into the sauce. This process is called "mounting the butter." Remove from heat and continue to stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a fine strainer and keep warm.

Saut? mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until tender and all moisture has cooked off. Excess water from the mushrooms may break your sauce if it isn't cooked off. Stir mushrooms into Meuniere Sauce. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saut? pan and warm crab claws over low heat.

To serve: Slice cheesecake and top each piece with warm Meuniere Sauce and three crab claws.



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