Thursday, April 05, 2012

crab cakes

My love of crab comes straight from my mom. I'm pretty sure it's the best seafood: nothing quite matching the sweet and juicy flesh. It's amazing dipped just slightly into butter, or completely on its own. It's not exactly something you see on my everyday menu though. It's expensive, and in general the closest thing to fresh crab I ever bring home comes in a can.

Canned crab? Yeah I know. A can of crabmeat can turn into any number of delicious things, though. Bunny goes crazy for crab quiche. I love crab in my pasta. Of course, there's also the standard crab cake.

Generally speaking, I make crab cakes as appetizers or grazing food. When I'm cooking for two, this recipe yields way more than we'll realistically eat with a meal ... but by the time we go to bed the two of us will have devoured them.

Crab Cakes
adapted from Elizabeth Baird
makes about 12

Ingredients
  • 1 can crabmeat
    • feel free to replace this with fresh crab, if available
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/2 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • one large egg
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cups breadcrumbs, divided
    • note: I use preseasoned crumbs. If you don't you'll want to add some Italian seasoning in to your recipe
  • Olive oil, for cooking. (About two tbsp)
Directions
  1. Drain the can of crab meat. You want the flesh to be fairly dry. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the pepper, onion, egg, parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp of bread crumbs and yogurt. Stir until well combined.
  3. Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs in shallow dish.
  4. Form crabmeat mixture by rounded spoonfuls into balls; roll in bread crumbs. You'll want to ensure that your crabcakes are fully covered in crumbs as this is what gives them that lovely crunchy crust.
  5. Place covered balls onto waxed paper or prep plate. Press down slightly to flatten. (Be careful here, because they cakes tend to want to fall apart at this point in my experience.)
  6. In nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; cook crab cakes, in batches and adding enough of the remaining oil as necessary, for 2 minutes per side or until golden.
  7. Sprinkle with salt, to taste after removing from the pan. (This is when the salt with adhere the best. You don't need much.)
  8. Serve with any creamy dip of your choosing (lemon aioli would be lovely), or on their own with lemon.
Notes:
  • The yogurt could easily be replaced with mayo. I just hate the stuff.
  • These would be a great side to a salad. That would be an amazing lunch.
  • If you're using fresh crab, you may need to add some salt to the mix. Canned crab tends to have salt already added.

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