Crab Cakes

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Once in a while I get grocery basket envy.  I’ll be in the Co-op, wandering around, and someone’s basket full of groceries will catch my eye.  I walk extra slowly and examine the contents.  Usually what catches my eye are things I rarely buy, but that I love, like logs of salami, salted caramel gelato, wedges of interesting cheese, smoked salmon, etc.  One time I was waiting in the check-out line and glanced at the person’s groceries ahead of me.  He had wine, cheese, a baguette, berries, guacamole and chips.  Oh and chocolate.  I said in my head woahoh take me home with you.  He swirled around and gave me a funny look.  Whoops, did I say that out loud?  I did.  I tried to explain to him that it was because of his grocery choices, but I ended up saying more awkward things like wowow looks like a good time.  He left in a hurry…apparently nobody has every complimented him on his grocery discernment.  

This time, however, I was the one with the delish basket: the makings for crab cakes.  I had my friends over and we dined on beet salad courtesy of Julie flavored with feta and fresh mint.  David brought hard cider to show off his newly aquired 21-year-old privelages. Martha and I made crab cakes from Ina Garten’s recipe in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  The crab cakes were deliciously flavored with some crunchy veggies and, of course, Old Bay seasoning.  The remoulade added a delicious tang similar to tartar sauce. They were a hit!  The next morning I threw the leftovers into an omelette.

Makes about 26 mini crabcakes; serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 1/2 small-diced celery (4 stalks)
  • 1/2 small-diced yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 small-diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained (I left these out, and they were still good)
  • 1/4 teaspoon tabasco (I used a different hot sauce made at my work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound lump crabmeat, drained and picked to remove shells
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (NOT SALTED)
  • 1/2 cup good mayo
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

For frying:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Remoulade sauce (makes 3/4 cup):

  • 1/2 cup good mayo
  • 2 tablespoons small-diced pickles or cornichons
  • 1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

 

Place the 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil, onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  In a large bowl, break the lumb crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayo, mustard, and eggs.  Add the cooked mixture and mix well.  Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Shape into bite-sized crab cakes.  Heat the butter and olive oil for frying over medium heat in a large saute pan.  Add the crab cakes a fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned.  Work in batches.  Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a 250-degree oven and serve hot.

For the remoulade, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all the ingredients are mixed but not pureed.  You can also do this by simply chopping the pickles and then stirring everything together.

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