Soft shell crab with sweet corn chowder


Pan Fried Soft Shell Crab with Sweet Corn Chowder


  • Breaded Soft Shell Crab (Clean Crab by removing the tail, cut off eyes and scrap gills. Then bread crab with flour, egg, and corn meal)
  • BCorn Chowder
  • BWatercress
  • BBasil Oil
  • BTomato Concasse
Corn Chowder:
  • 12 Ears of corn
  • 4 ea Diced Onions
  • 4 ea Diced Leeks
  • 1 bunch Diced Celery
  • 5 ea Red Bell Peppers
  • 8 oz Butter
  • 4 oz Flour
  • ½ g Chicken Stock
  • 1 g Heavy Cream
  • 10 ea Diced Potatoes
  • 2 b Parsley
  • To taste Salt, Pepper
  1. Sweat onions, leeks, and celery in butter till translucent. Add flour. Add chicken stock and cream. Add corn. Bring to a simmer and add potatoes. When Potatoes are cooked remove 1/3 of soup and puree. Add back to soup. Add parsley, season to taste and ready to serve.
  2. Pan Sear crab. Place 3oz. of heated soup in a warm bowl. Cut crab in half and stand in center of soup. Garnish with watercress, Basil oil and tomato concasse.
Corn Flan
Serves 12


  • 1 ½ lb fresh corn (weight after removing from cob; reserve 1ear for roasting later)
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ tbsp tarragon, chopped
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Cook corn in a large pot of boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Reserve 1 ear for roasting later. Remove corn from pot and place under cool running water to keep from overcooking. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off the cob.

  2. In a large sauté pan with one tbsp of olive oil, cook onion over medium-low heat until just soft. Add the 1¼ pounds of corn and 1½ cups cream to the pan and bring to a boil and remove from heat.

  3. Puree the corn mixture in a food processor until very smooth.

  4. After pureeing, pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve before proceeding to remove the tough outer layer of the corn.

  5. Preheat the oven to 325° degrees and use 1 tbsp of butter to lightly coat the inside of 12 (2oz) aluminum ramekins. Transfer the pureed corn mixture to a mixing bowl and whisk in the eggs, 1 tsp tarragon, s, salt, and pepper. Divide the corn mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins and place ramekins in a large baking pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the pan, and bake uncovered until flans are set, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool slightly.

  6. After cooling flans invert to remove from aluminum ramekin. Serve warm, or chilled.

  7. Take remaining corn and remove from cob. Mix with olive oil Salt and pepper and roast to ever slightly brown. Mix roasted corn with pickled onions, chopped cilantro, Extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.

  8. Serve with flan centered on plate. Garnish each flan with some Micro Cilantro, or a cilantro sprig. Pickled onion relish to one side and Lahvosh, or other crackers to other side.
Pickled Onions
  • 1/2 red onion sliced 1/8"
  • 3/4 C. water
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 C. Cider vinegar
  • 1/16 C. Brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Place all ingredients in a pot except onions. Bring to boil. Cool slightly and add onions. Cool and store for up to 2 weeks.
About Patrick Fassino, Executive Chef, Teatro Zinzanni
Just over a year ago, Patrick Fassino, a seven-year veteran of The Duck Club's kitchen, found himself in an unenviable position. A sous chef at the time, he was left to run a kitchen that had just experienced a mass exodus: Chef, pastry chef, food and beverage manager, and several line cooks had all defected to Bing Crosby's, the shiny new restaurant just down the road.

Although he had worked several posts in The Duck Club kitchen, being pronounced the top toque more or less out of the blue was quite a shock. He had to rise to the occasion, and rise quickly.

How did he do it? He says, "You just walk into work and say, how are we going to keep it together today?" When the soft-spoken Fassino speaks of grooming inexperienced staff members, he glows with quiet pride. "I've done my best to make them better cooks. It's a great feeling to see someone you've been working with start to move as a chef."

He must have done something right, because when executive chef Evan Crandall came on last year, he made no secret of his admiration for Fassino, promoting him to chef de cuisine. Now, after a short stint, Crandall has moved on, and The Duck Club is searching for a new executive chef.

Meanwhile, Fassino's journey has allowed him to flex his creative muscles. His dishes show off luxurious ingredients, from the velvety slices of perfectly ripe avocado and mango surrounding chunks of lobster in a decadent first-course salad to the brioche-and-foie-gras stuffing of a porcini-powdered chicken breast. Each delicious bite is testament to Fassino's ability to take every opportunity to raise his game and become a great chef-even while holding things together day to day.

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