Friday, October 8, 2010

Crab Cakes

You know when you're eating a great crab cake: Chunks of meaty crab accented with ingredients hand-picked to bring out the crustacean's sweet and briny flavour almost melt in your mouth. Here's how you can make a batch at home. Repeat with us: Toss, pat, fry ...toss, pat, fry; no overmixing allowed. Then, and only then, will your delightful cakes reach that impeccable balance between tender center and crunchy exterior.
Hold that thought, and walk with us through the steps to crab-cake mastery. You start by mixing together everything but the crab. When that's all well combined, carefully toss the crabmeat with the mayonnaise mixture, just until the meat is moistened. Bring your bowl of potential crab cakes to the stove, heat your pan, and start forming. Shape them by gathering the mixture into a ball in your hand. Pat the ball into a patty. Then press on bread crumbs. To get evenly sized cakes, scoop the crabmeat mixture into your hand with a half-cup measure.
If you'd rather go freehand, just scoop up an amount that looks right to you, shape into a cake, and cook as directed. (Make sure they're about 1/2 inch thick so cakes will be cooked through by the time they're browned.)
As you finish forming each cake, lower it gently into the hot pan. When the cakes are fried to a nice toasty color (about the shade of a pancake), serve them with the Tartar Sauce we provide (recipe below), your favorite cocktail sauce, mustard, or just a wedge of fresh lemon

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes

  • 1 6- to 8- oz. pkg. fresh or frozen lump crabmeat or one 6- ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion (green part only; chop and set aside the white part for the Tartar sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • 1 recipe Tartar Sauce
How to make:
  1. Thaw crabmeat in the refrigerator, if frozen; drain. In a medium mixing bowl combine egg, 4 tablespoons of the bread crumbs, the carrot, celery, onion, mayonnaise, dry mustard, salt, and hot pepper sauce. Gently stir in crabmeat just until combined. With wet hands, gently shape mixture into four 1.2-inch-thick patties, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
  2. Place remaining crumbs in a shallow dish. Coat both sides of the patties with crumbs.
  3. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add crab cakes. Cook about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and heated through. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired, and Tartar Sauce. Makes 4 servings. *When using canned crabmeat, omit the e1/4 teaspoon salt.
Tartar Sauce:
In a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves, 1 tablespoon sweet or dill pickle relish, 1 tablespoon capers, and 1 tablespoon chopped white ends of green onions.

  1. To keep the crab intact, add it last so you'll have lots of big savory chunks to bite into.
  2. Pat lightly into shape; cakes will seem too crumbly at this  stage, but cooking will firm them up.
  3. The crabmeat is already cooked, but the eggs aren't, so keep cakes on the heat until they are a nice golden brown. An instant-read thermometer should reach 160 degree F with the tip of the probe inserted sideways into the cake.

Nutrition facts per cake and 1 tablespoon Tartar Sauce: 298 calories, 26 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 119 mg cholesterol, 560 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber, 11 g protein.
Daily values: 25% vit. A, 3% vit. C, 7% calcium, 6% Iron.