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For your Thanksgiving table: Pumpkin crab cakes from Toscanos Cafe in Puyallup

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Nov. 9, 2010 at 11:42 am | No Comments »
November 9, 2010 11:42 am
Pumpkin Crab Cakes are the creation of Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos Café and Wine Bar in Puyallup. The recipe calls for roasted pumpkin, fresh crab and orange zest. Photo by Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The last 10 days have been a blur of Thanksgiving writing for SoundLife reporters and editors. As the News Tribune’s food editor, I had the joy (no, really, it was) of testing a dozen recipes we’ll publish in SoundLife food sections tomorrow and next Wednesday. Many recipes came from local chefs, some recipes came from readers like you.

When we were testing recipes last week at my house, one really floored us – if not for flavor, then for the creamy texture. Pumpkin Crab Cakes, from Chef Tom Pantley of Toscanos Cafe and Wine Bar in Puyallup, would make a delicious addition to any Thanksgiving or holiday meal. The flavor punch comes from orange zest and orange juice. The cakes took less than 30 minutes to make from beginning to end. They reheated fairly well, but I’d suggest making them fresh on the day of your event to get the most mileage in flavor and texture.

Click “more” to see the recipe which also will be published in tomorrow’s SoundLife food section. This week and next, we’ll also publish recipes from Diana Prine of Fife City Bar and Grill, William Mueller of Babblin’ Babs Bistro, Thad Lyman of Gig Harbor’s Brix 25 and Matt Stickle of Hotel Murano’s Bite Restaurant.

Pumpkin Crab Cakes
½ pumpkin (we used a sugar pumpkin in our recipe testing)
1 cup total finely chopped carrots, onions and celery; combined
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Peel of half an orange, finely chopped
Juice of one orange
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1¼ cup cooked crab meat
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup of bread crumbs

Leaving the rind on, clean the membrane and seeds from the pumpkin, and cut it into large wedges. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle oil over the top. Roast in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until the flesh of the pumpkin begins to soften. Let the roasted pumpkin cool completely.

Remove the rind and chop one cup of the pumpkin. Add it to a mixing bowl along with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and all of the other ingredients except the bread crumbs and crab. Mix these ingredients together gently (using your hands is best) until a slightly moist paste is formed. Mix in one cup of crab, reserving the rest of the crab to put on top of the finished cakes.

Scoop one tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into the bread crumbs. Then flatten it into a patty. Repeat this process until all of the mixture has been used. Heat the remaining oil in a large sauté pan. When the oil is quite hot, fry up the crab cakes, until they are crisp on both sides. Quickly remove them from the pan, place them on a baking sheet, and cook in a 450 oven for about 5 minutes. Place the remaining crab on top of the finished cakes.

Source: Tom Pantley, Toscanos, 437 29th Street NE, Puyallup 253-864-8600

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