Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crab Cakes for Dinner Last Night

One of my favorite menu items is crab cakes, but they can be very expensive...and often are not the healthiest item, either. We are eating out less lately, and we're finding it easier to eat healthier that way. I splurged and bought a pound of crabmeat yesterday, which is vastly cheaper than paying $20+ for two measly crab cakes in a restaurant. This is my favorite crab cake recipe, which mostly consists of crab (and only a bit of bread crumbs).

Crab Cakes
From How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman

Serves 4

Time: 15 minutes, plus refrigeration time

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1 egg
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 cup minced scallion
1/4 mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs, or as needed
About 1 cup flour for dredging
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
2 Tbsp peanut, olive, or vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp butter (or use all oil) (I actually used nonstick spray)
Lemon wedges and/or tartar sauce

1. Mix together the crab, egg, bell pepper, scallion, mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add sufficient bread crumbs to bind the mixture just enough to form into cakes; start with 2 Tbsp and use more if you need it. (I used spelt bread, and used the crumbs from one heel of bread.)

2. Refrigerate the mixture until you're ready to cook (it will be easier to shape if you refrigerate for 30 minutes or more, but it is ready to go when you finish mixing). (I didn't take the time to refridgerate it yesterday.)

3. Season the flour (I used spelt flour) with salt, pepper, and curry if you you like. (I actually put the curry right into the crab mixture instead, and they turned out great.) Preheat a large skillet (I used a pancake griddle), preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the oil and butter (or nonstick spray) and heat until the butter foam subsides. Shape the crabmeat mixture into four cakes (in my case, I made about eight smaller cakes), dredge each in the flour, and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary and turning once (very gently), until golden brown on both sides. Total cooking time will be about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. (We ate them with Trader Joe's bruschetta sauce on top!)

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