Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunset Crab Cakes

Sunset Crab Cake Appetizer

If you love crab, you might just also love crab cakes.  Tender and moist on the inside, and crispy on the outside, there are as many different recipes as there are coastal regions of the United States. 

I call these "Sunset Crab Cakes" because they remind me of the 15 years I spent living near Clearwater Beach.  A white, sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico, it is one of the best places to watch a sunset and to eat great seafood.

This recipe makes six crab cakes.  You can double or triple it as you like.  My only caution is not to overcrowd your pan so you have room for turning. 

Brown the cakes lightly or brown them more -  it's personal preference.  I have examples of both here and you can see they look equally as beautiful and trust me, they taste great either way!

The process that I use involves slightly "freezing" the cakes so that they are easier to handle.  That's because I use very little cracker crumb.  I like my crab cakes to be all about the crab, not the bread.

Are these healthy?  Pan frying is okay if you are watching your weight.  It's all about using a healthy oil.  Vegetable oil is made with soybean these days. 

Economical?  You betcha!  I used canned crab, which you can find in the canned seafood aisle of your supermarket. 

So whether you are serving these as an appetizer or a main course, you can look like a rock star even if you are on a tight budget.


Sunset Crab Cakes as an Entrée

Sunset Crab Cakes

For six cakes you will need -

2 cans (6 oz) Bumble Bee® Lump Crab meat, drained*
1/4 cup Egg Beaters® All-Natural Egg Whites*
3 tablespoons Light Mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Old Bay® Seasoning*
1/2 teaspoon Anchovy Paste
1/2 teaspoon Cholula® Hot Sauce*
1/4 cup Celery, minced
1/4 cup Green or Red Bell Pepper (or a combination), minced
1/8 cup minced yellow Onion
1/2 cup Town House® Buttery Wheat Crackers, crushed*
1 teaspoon dried Dill Weed
2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
Butter Flavored Cooking Spray
1/8 cup Soy Bean (Vegetable) Oil

Add crab to medium mixing bowl.  Gently fold in egg whites, mayonnaise, Old Bay, anchovy paste, and hot sauce.

In another bowl, combine celery, bell pepper, and onion. 

Crush crackers and add dill weed. 

Carefully fold the crab with the vegetables and the cracker and dill weed.    Add lemon juice and give the mixture a quick toss. 

Form into six even-sized cakes.  Place cakes on parchment paper laid on a freezer-safe plate. Top with another sheet of parchment paper. 

Refrigerate cakes for at least one hour.  More if you have the time.

1/2 before you are ready to cook the crab cakes, transfer the plate to the freezer

Crab cakes should be firm to the touch and near frozen when you are ready to drop them into the hot oil.




To cook the cakes:

Spray skillet with cooking spray and add oil.  Heat oil until it "pops." 

Add crab cakes - three at a time.  Cook on one side for five minutes; flip, and continue to cook for another five minutes.

Remove cooked cakes, plate, and keep warm. until ready to serve. 

Repeat cooking process with second batch. 

If you are cooking more than two batches, I suggest that you change out the oil or have two skillets going as not to have too much of the "break-off" from the crab cakes  which is sure to occur.  ("Break-off" is the excess bits of the cakes which naturally break off as you fry).

PS -  That is not a technical cooking term, but you get what I mean.

Keep in mind, the second batch might cook a little quicker as the oil is hot, creating browner crab cakes.




Notes:

The sauce I made is a simple mixture of light mayonnaise, hot sauce and lime juice. You can play around with the proportions until you get the flavor that you enjoy.

Also, pick your herb topping. For the entrée portion I used fresh chopped chives. For the appetizer I used parsley. Whatever you have on hand is just fine.

*I listed these brands as the recipe was tested with these and they have a certain quality or flavor.  No product was supplied to blogger and not an endorsement.
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