Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Crabbiest Crab Cakes

In my on-going quest to empty my pantry ahead of the kitchen remodel (although I made the same mistake in talking about the kitchen remodel that newly pregnant women make when they announce their delicate condition too soon and thereby make it seem to others like a longer gestation than an elephant's), I found a can of wild-caught Dungeness crab in there that had me dreaming of crab cakes.

You should know that I had never made crab cakes and had no idea how to go about it, I just knew I was jonesing on those delectable little patties.  I have eaten crab cakes on the East coast (blue crab ranks high on my list of life's best things) and here on the West coast (where Dungeness gives blue a serious run for its money), and I can attest that both are heavenly. The only way you can ruin them is to use too much filler and not enough crab.

After a cruise around the interwebs to decide that, no, I didn't want to serve mine with salsa and, no, I didn't want to add egg as a binder, I went all crazy and just winged it. I mixed a little mayo, a little Dijon mustard, some Mexican spice for a touch of heat, some lemon pepper for citrus, some Worcestershire sauce just because, and a chiffonnade of cilantro because My Beloved is very fond of cilantro. Whisked those together before adding a drained can of the crab and gently mixing it around with a little of the water from the can and the juice of half a lime. No salt because the crab is already salty. Oh, and just about 1/4 cup of panko crumbs as a binder.

Into the fridge for 30 minutes to let the panko soak up the crabby juices. I made patties, then squeezed out most of the moisture so they'd hold together better. As you can see from the photo, that didn't work at all.  I formed them as well as I could and placed the patties in a canola-oiled ovenproof skillet and roasted them for about 10 minutes in a searing hot oven (as close to 500 degrees F as my aging oven will go), browning the bottoms. 

I had made a quick salad of whatever was in the fridge and dressed it very lightly with a balsamic vinaigrette, so all that was left was to flip the crab cakes onto the salad, browned side up, and serve. They fell completely apart into chunky, crispy mouthfuls. There are worse fates. They were a little spicy, a little crunchy, a little rich, a lot crabby, and altogether delicious. We ate every bite and chased the crumbs around our plates with our forks.

I think that may be the definition of the best lunches ever - when no scrap is allowed to escape.


Blogger Three Dogs BBQ said...

Thanks for the tip Zoomie. We'll have to try that around here.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Three Dogs, hope you enjoy them. And thanks for your visit here!

Thursday, February 06, 2014  

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