Whenever my wife is grouchy, I always tell her, “I know what you want for dinner: Crab cakes!”
While it’s a play on words, it usually cheers her up because crab cakes are one of her favorite dinners.
I know, I know! Crab cakes are not what usually comes to mind when you think of budget cooking, but I use canned crab so it really wasn’t that expensive. And the flavor is excellent.
You definitely need something to bind crab cakes together. At one restaurant, we used mashed potatoes leftover from the night before. That actually worked pretty well. In this recipe, I use the old meatloaf standby: beaten egg and bread crumbs.
Traditionally, crab cakes are deep fried, but I don’t have a deep fryer in my house, so that’s out. Or you can just bake them, but I like my crab cakes to have a crispy crust. So I compromised by simply pan frying them and it worked great!
I always serve my crab cakes with a sauce made out of an emulsion of roasted red pepper, balsamic vinegar and EVOO. Simply put the pepper and the vinegar in a blender and turn it on, then add the oil, starting with a few drops at a time, until you get a sauce with the consistency of salad dressing. For bonus points, pour it into a squeeze bottle and zig-zag it across the crab cakes for dramatic effect.
I mounted my crab cakes on a slaw made of thin-sliced fennel and red onion dressed in a simple lemon vinaigrette (Zest and juice of one lemon and 1/2 tsp sugar whisked with 1/3 cup EVOO, S&P).
3 6-oz cans crab meat
1 TBS Tony’s seasoning (or any Creole or Cajun seasoning, or Old Bay)
2 TBS Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (I used the remainder to make the mini corn muffins)
1 TBS parsley, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced small
1/2 small red onion, diced small
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced small
2 TBS mayonnaise
1 TBS yellow mustard
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 tsp Worchestershire sauce
S&P to taste
2 scallions, sliced
Drain crab in colander, then place mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients then pour over crab and fold together, being careful not to break up the crab lumps. Scoop out with an ice cream scoop and form each in a ball, then pat down into a patty and lay out of a sheet pan.
When you’ve mixed all the crab cakes — you should get about 8 or 9 — put the sheet pan in the freezer for a few minutes so they are easier to handle. Meanwhile, put cast iron pan on fire. When hot, add EVOO. When smoking, place the crab cakes in the pan, being careful not to splash yourself with hot oil. Cook until nicely browned, about 2 or 3 minutes per side.
Nap or drizzle with red pepper emulsion and garnish with scallions.
Do you have any special meals you make when someone is feeling down? Why not share them in the comments section below? And thanks for looking at my blog!