Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crab Cakes

For this dish, I suggest using Panko bread crumbs. They are Japanese bread crumbs that are very light and airy, which make for a crisp coating. They can be found in almost any supermarket, either up the bread aisle or the international food aisle. If you can not find Panko bread crumbs, regular bread crumbs or cracker crumbs can be used instead.

Also, when making this dish (or any other crab dish), be sure to buy the large 16-oz cans of crab meat that are located in the seafood section of your supermarket. While they can be a bit pricey at times, they are packed with 100% crab meat. The smaller cans that are found near the cans of tuna are packed with about 1/3 water, so you are getting your money's worth with the larger cans.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced onion
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 pound lump crab meat
1/4 cup finely crushed saltine crackers
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil

In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt and Old Bay. Fold in the crabmeat and the cracker crumbs.

Place mixture in a container and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours ahead of cooking time (up to 24 hours ahead of time is fine). This will allow the mixture to come together and make for easier cake shaping.

When chilled, grab a hand full of the mixture at a time and squeeze out any excessive moisture (this will help the cakes keep their shape). Shape the mixture into 16 cakes about 1 inch thick.

Coat the crab cakes with the Panko bread crumbs.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the foam subsides, add half of the crab cakes and cook over moderate heat until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain the crab cakes on paper towels, then keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the remaining crab cakes.

* For lighter crab cakes, bake in oven at 350ยบ for about 20-30 minutes or until crisp, flipping once.

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