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Monday, February 8, 2010

Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are something that I used to be afraid of... seafood in general used to intimidate me. It always seems so delicate and I'm afraid I'll ruin it. A lot of seafood is relatively pricey so I didn't want to take a chance and waste a bunch of stuff. But I decided they couldn't be that difficult. After reading a comparison post on the blog Proceed with Caution, I had a little more insight into what my recipe would be. She highlighted recipes from Cooks Illustrated, Chronicles of a Fledgling Cook, Ellie Krieger, and Good Things Catered. Ultimately I sort of combined what I liked about each of the recipes and made up my own. I know most people would follow a recipe the first time they make something but I threw caution to the wind with this one.

I think they turned out great. I made about half of this filling into crab cakes and made 8 smallish (about 3" in diameter) crab cakes and the rest of the filling I think I'll turn into seafood enchiladas. Also, I used canned lump crab meat but if you've got fresh, by all means use it.

Crab Cakes

1 T butter
1 pound crab meat
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (I used Fat Free)
1 egg
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dill
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
Canola oil for frying

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Meanwhile, roughly chop crab meat. Add crab to cooled pepper mixture. Lightly beat egg and add with miracle whip, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, mixing gently. Mix bread crumbs with seasonings and gently stir about 1/2 of the crumbs into crab mixture.

Form mixture into small patties and dredge in remaining bread crumbs, pressing firmly to form patties. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add approximately 4 T canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan well. When the oil is hot, add crab cakes in batches, leaving room to turn them in the pan. Don't overcrowd them. Cook approximately 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.

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