The Crab Cake
As a God-fearing, church-going Catholic, I follow the Lenten regulations of abstaining from meat on Fridays mainly because I want to improve my chances of making it to Heaven. It is only these Fridays during Lent that I crave a huge, juicy cheeseburger because I am "not supposed" to eat meat on these days.
As a backup to my burger desire, I keep a can of fresh crab meat on hand to make The Crab Cake instead. A mostly crab meat filled patty with barely enough egg and panko to bind it together reminds of warm summer days spent at The Shore instead of the burger of my dreams.
Crab cakes are a weekly request from my clients. I think I will put in a request to make them for myself this Friday.
The Crab Cake
Use crab meat from the refrigerated section near the seafood department of your local grocery store or Costco. I use Phillip's backfin or special varieties.
makes 12 crab cakes or about 4 servings
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound of fresh crab meat, either backfin or special varieties
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup panko plus more for dredging crab cakes in before sauteing
canola oil and butter for frying
for classic tartar sauce --
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
squeeze of lemon juice
shredded iceberg lettuce
In a large saute pan, heat about a tablespoon of canola oil and saute the onion and celery for 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, gently combine the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, dry mustard, parsley, egg, crab meat, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, and 1/2 cup of panko and the onion-celery mixture. Make sure that you do not mix too much because you do not want to break up the crab pieces.
Using a 1/4 cup measure, form the crab mixture into 12 crab cakes. If you have time, refrigerate, covered for 30 minutes to help the crab cakes hold their shape while sauteing.
Heat a large saute pan to medium high. Drizzle about 1 - 2 tablespoons of oil and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter into pan. Place about 1 cup of panko in a shallow dish. Dredge each side of the crab cakes in the panko and saute for about 3 - 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
For the tartar sauce, in a small bowl combine the 1 cup of mayonnaise, pickle relish and lemon juice.
Serve crab cakes on top of shredded iceberg lettuce with a squeeze of lemon and classic tartar sauce.