Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lump Crab Cakes

 Ever since my allergy scare with lobster, I've been pretty cautious with shellfish. I miss lobster a lot and thankfully, it's only lobster that does not seem to agree with me. I can still enjoy crab, oysters, clams and the like - at least for now.

After a long day at work, I was craving for something - a buttery protein, some sort of seafood. I drove past a Legal Seafoods restaurant on my way home and automatically thought, "crab cakes!" I stopped at the restaurant, thinking to do a take out order of their famous crab cakes, but some voice in the back of my mind stopped me. The voice said "Trish, how hard can it be to make crab cakes? You can do it yourself, you can DO IT!" With the challenge in mind, I got back in my car and drove to their nearest grocery store, Wegmans. Wegmans sells lump crab for about $15 for 8oz, not a bad price since 2 crab cakes at Legal Seafoods is about $24. With 8oz, I was able to make 5 delicious crab cakes with a side of roasted brussel sprouts and and baby portobello mushrooms at a total of $26! Wahoo!

I will preface that I'm no expert in making crab cakes, in fact, this was my first try and there may be some future tweaking - but overall, the cakes were pretty good. For those who follow, please share your suggestions for how to make a crab cake!

for the crab cakes:
1- 8oz can of jumbo lump crab
Italian seasonings
onion powder
ground garlic
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 stalks/ribs of celery for crunch

for the brussel sprouts
1/2lb of brussel sprouts, cut in half

for the portobello mushrooms
1 pint of baby portobello mushrooms
1/2 tsp of butter

Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Prepare the brussel sprouts and toss them in olive oil, salt and black pepper. Roast them for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

For the cakes, combine lump crab, onion powder, garlic, Italian seasonings, salt, black pepper. Add the panko bread crumbs and toss with your hands. Beat 1 egg and add enough egg to bind the mixture together. Lightly mix with your hands and make patties about 2-3 inches in diameter.

In a frying pan, heat up oil at medium heat with just enough oil to shallow fry. Once the oil is hot, add the patties 3 at a time. Fry the crab cakes, 5 minutes and flip. The patties should be golden brown. Once fried, place the patties on a paper towel to drain the oil.

For the mushrooms, melt some butter and add a little olive oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

My first patty wasn't ready to be flipped and I was too scared I was overcooking the crab. The crab cake ended up falling apart and being too wet from the egg mixture. After learning to be patient, I let the crabs sit a bit longer in the oil to produce a tight crab cake that easily flaked with a fork. The panko crust and the egg help crisp up the cake. Maybe next time I'll try Old Bay seasoning instead of Italian seasoning and try an accompanying mayo!

Simple enough, tasty for sure, and much cheaper than take out! Enjoy


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