Photo by CARRIE WISE // Buy this photo
4077 U.S. 41 N, Naples, FL
Watch CookIt! at naplesnews.com/cookit to see Alexander Bernard, cookbook author, chef and co-owner of Alexander’s Restaurant, 4077 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 262-4999, make his jumbo lump crab cakes and spicy sauce.
Bernard hails from Old Orchard, Maine, and has made Naples his home since 1987. He graduated from Johnson & Wales in Providence, R.I., and his cooking philosophy is to use fresh ingredients and keep it simple. Do what you know so it will be the best, he says. His restaurant is named for his son Alexander and his wife, Monika, is his partner and co-owner of the restaurant. She takes care of the front of the house and is his favorite critic, Bernard says.
Bernard says he loves what he does and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. He really enjoys slow cooking and braising, but most all enjoys his restaurant and serving his customers. Diners of the restaurant keep coming back for its popular grouper crusted with macadamia nuts served with mango butter sauce. Bernard’s seafood risotto is the second most popular dish on the menu. Both are popular because of his homemade stocks. Bernard makes all his own stocks, he says, to get the best taste he can even though it is timely and costly, but the end result is what counts.
Make Alexander’s crab cakes with this recipe:
Jumbo lump meat crab cakes
Makes six small cakes.
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
1 cup seasoned croutons
1 shallot, finely minced
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced small
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon, Old Bay Seasoning
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon green peppercorns, crushed
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons creamy spicy sauce for crab filling (recipe below)
3-4 ounces unsalted butter
6 ounces creamy spice sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Carefully mix the crab meat and all the ingredients, keeping the large chunks of crab meat intact.
Divide the mixture into six portions and gently pat each portion in the palm of your hands into a small cake.
Melt the butter in a small saute pan and brown the cakes on both sides.
Using a spatula transfer the cakes onto a baking pan.
Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes
Spoon creamy spicy sauce on the plate and place a crab cake on top.
Creamy spicy sauce
Makes one cup.
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red chili garlic sauce
½ teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.
Heat in a small saucepan before serving.