Friday, March 2, 2012

Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes at restaurants and have tried making them at home at least 3 or 4 times and each time I tried different recipes. The first time, I made it with a ton of mayo which was delicious but fattening..so I've finally settled down with this version of crab cakes which is equally yummy and definitely healthier and not drenched in mayo.. :)
You can make these in 2 different ways. The traditional way is to pan fry them in olive oil. The other one I tried this time, is baking. I'll mention both the methods here..
Ingredients:
Crab Meat - 1 lb
Dijon Mustard - 2 Tbsp
Light Mayonaisse - 2 Tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Celery sticks, diced - 5 nos
Garlic, crushed - 4 cloves
Chipotle sauce - 1 Tbsp
Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp
Chili Sauce - 1/2 Tbsp
Egg, beaten - 1
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Rusk, crushed  - 4
Panko Breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup

For the Dip:
Light Mayonaise - 1/4 cup
Capers - 1 Tbsp
Dijon Mustard - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Garlic, crushed - 1 clove
Sugar - 1 pinch
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

Method:
  1. Heat about 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan and add onions, celery and crushed garlic and sauté until cooked through and soft. Remove from pan and cool. 
  2. To the sautéed veggies, add all the ingredients from above except for the breadcrumbs and chill the mixture in the refrigerator at least for an hour or two.
  3. Once chilled, scoop the mixture with an ice-cream scoop, put it on a plate and flatten it out a little bit using your hand to make it look like a cake and coat it with the breadcrumbs on both sides.
  4. Heat about 2-3 Tbsps of oil in a shallow pan and add the crab cakes one by one and pan fry until golden brown on both sides for about 4-5 minutes each side.
  5. For the dip mix everything together and enjoy! If you are lazy to make the dip, store bought tartar sauce will make a perfect dip. 
For Baking:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Place the crab mixture coated with breadcrumbs on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and drizzle or spray a little olive oil on each cake and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes on one side.
  3. Flip the crab cakes to the other side and drizzle olive oil on each and bake for 10 more minutes until golden and crispy. 
I used canned crab cake meat that I bought at Costco. Chilling the mixture is very important for the crab cakes to be flavorful. I chilled them overnight and made it the next day in the evening as a snack. But 1 or 2 hours should be pretty sufficient.
The reason to drizzle some oil while baking is to maintain a little moisture in the cakes, otherwise baking dries them out and makes them a little harder than the pan fried ones. Even if you are pan frying, you don't need to use a lot of oil. Cooking them in a medium flame with little oil will roast them well enough. Enjoy and hope your weekend begins with crab cakes!! :)