Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crab Cakes, Southwestern Style

I know my Maryland friends are going to hunt me down for messing with a Maryland staple like crab cakes, but really adding a little Southwestern twist adds a delicious little punch.

Southwestern Crab Cakes
24 ounces crab meat (you don't have to buy expensive crab for this at all)
2 stalks celery; minced fine
1/4 red onion; minced fine
1/4 cup cilantro leaves; chopped
1 small jalapeno; ribs and seeds removed and minced fine
4 TBSP mayonnaise
1 egg; lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (found in the asian aisle)
Canola oil for frying

In a large bowl stir together celery, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, mayonnaise, egg, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of the Panko. Add the crab and toss gently until just combined. Gently form balls about two and a half inches in diameter. Roll each ball in the remaining Panko crumbs until lightly coated. Transfer to a baking sheet covered in foil and gently press down to form patties about the size of your palm. This will make 12 patties. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. This will help set the patties, as they are very delicate and will have the tendency to break apart during cooking if they are not slightly frozen first. Heat enough oil in a heavy fry pan so that the patties will sit in oil about halfway up their sides while frying. Gently place 5 to 6 crab cakes in the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes. Turn very carefully and fry for about 2 more minutes. Remove and drain on a layer of paper towels. Repeat with remaining cakes. Squeeze a touch of lime juice on each crab cake. Serve with creamy chipotle sauce or jalapeno mayo (recipes follow)

Creamy Chipotle Sauce

4 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp minced red onion
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
1 1/2 chipotle pepper packed in adobo sauce; minced fine
Small squeeze of lime

Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.

Jalapeno Mayo

4 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/4 pickled jalapenos; chopped

Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.

Crab cakes ready to go into the freezer.

Finished crab cakes with creamy chipotle sauce and pineapple mango salsa as a side.
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Michelle said...

This looks yummy. I'll have to try it.

If I made them the day before and they were frozen solid, would you recommend slightly thawing them, or frying them straight from the freezer?

I have another recipe that has you put them in the fridge for a day, and that worked fine for keeping them together while cooking.

Natalie said...

oh thsoe look so good! I can't wait to try!

Maurisa said...

I think I would defrost them a bit. Ice crystals and hot oil are usually not a good combination, plus you might to increase the frying time in order to heat the cakes through, which would mean they'd be sitting in oil longer.

I purposely did not use a lot of binder ( eggs and bread) in this recipe as I really wanted these crab cakes to taste like crab but with just a little kick. I'm not sure if refrigerating overnight would be as effective in holding them together, but then, the real trick to frying them is to be very gentle and don't fiddle with them once they are in the pan.