Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crab Cakes!

I list not learning to make crab cakes sooner among my top regrets in life.  Seriously.  This food for me was always delectable but usually too pricy for a casual dinner or not filling enough.  And to make at home?  I expected it was far too intimidating.  Then when I met my friend B, she said she'd mastered a special crab cake recipe and assured me it was not the daunting task I imagined.  And would you know it?  She was right!

Crab cakes are simple and satisfying, easy to freeze and reheat, and best of all, you can cook six servings for the same price you'd pay for a single serving at a restaurant.  My hidden gem for restaurant worthy recipes comes from none other than one of my favorite wine vintners, Cakebread Cellars, and it's no surprise they offer a delicious crab cake recipe.  Pair the cakes with their amazing chardonnay and you have a match made in Heaven.  Enjoy!

Photo: Cakebread Cellars


1 lb.
crabmeat, picked over for shells and squeezed to remove excess liquid.
1 1/2 c.
fresh bread crumbs
stalk celery, finely minced (1/2 cup)
green onion, finely minced (1/4 cup)
1/4 c.
1 T.
fresh lemon juice
1 T.
chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp.
Dijon mustard
1 tsp.
1 tsp.
Tabasco sauce
eggs, separated

extra virgin olive oil
lemon, cut into wedges

Combine the crabmeat, bread crumbs, celery, green onion, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and egg yolks in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the crab mixture. Shape 1/3 cup of the crab mixture into a 2-inch-wide patty. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Add enough olive oil to fill a large nonstick skillet 1/4-inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the crab cakes, in a single layer, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the lemon wedges.

*My variations: sometimes I add finely chopped red bell pepper and 1 tsp of Sriracha hot sauce to the bowl in step 1.  The pepper gives it nice color and the sauce adds a subtle but welcome kick to the crab cakes.  Also, I always bake the crab cakes on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees until they are lightly browned. 

Recipe created for Cakebread Cellars by Nancy Oakes, Chef and Owner, Boulevard, San Francisco

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