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crab cakes

I have a dozen or so crab cake recipes but I chose this particular one for Peggy’s birthday because it is extra light. What makes it so, is separating the egg and folding it in the whipped egg white just before cooking. The presentation with the herbed salad and aïoli is especially lovely, but the cakes are delicious on their own, so make it “easy-breezy” and leave those elements out, if you wish. I know I’ve mentioned before the fabulous real crab sold at Costco, but it is worth talking about again.

The brand they used to sell was Phillips, now they carry Blue Star, both are exceptional quality and totally fabulous. What makes them so? Real lump crab that has been pasteurized with a “use by” date on the bottom of the container that is generally about 9 months to a year out. So there is no excuse to not have crab on-hand anytime you need it. For this particular recipe, only about half of the container is used, so you can either double the amounts or be sure and use the remaining half container within a day or two.

To that end, I shall post another crab recipe tomorrow to finish it off. Another thing I have talked about before is the fact that the food processor has a special feature especially for making mayonnaise and aioli. If you need a refresher, click here to go back to that post. Finally, as always, if you don’t have Meyer lemons, no problem, just substitute regular lemons.

Crab Cakes with Meyer Lemon Aïoli on Herbed Greens

3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 teaspoon salt
2  egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

Crab Cakes
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon crème fraîche, Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 cup (packed) cooked lump crabmeat, picked over
4 tablespoons minced fresh chives, divided
1 small shallot, peeled and finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/3 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Herbed Greens
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups (packed) mixed greens
1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, big leaves torn
1/3 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves

Aïoli: With the machine running, drop garlic cloves and salt through the feed tube of a food processor and run for about 20 seconds. Open the machine and scrape down the sides. Add egg yolks, pepper, water, lemon juice, and mustard, and turn on high for another 20 seconds to blend. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Replace the feed tube cover, turn on the processor, and pour olive oil into the tube cover, allowing oil to drip into the machine at the correct speed, making an emulsion. Remove cover, taste, adding additional lemon juice, salt, or pepper, as needed.  Use a rubber spatula to transfer aïoli to a bowl, stir in lemon zest, cover, and refrigerate. Makes 1 cup

Crab Cakes: Whisk egg yolk and crème fraîche in a small bowl to blend. Gently mix in crabmeat, 2 tablespoons of the chives, shallot, parsley, and 1/3 cup of the panko. Place the remaining cup of panko on a plate and set it aside.

Beat egg white in a medium bowl until stiff but not dry; fold into crab mixture.

Form crab mixture into 6 patties, lightly breading each in the panko, then placing on a baking sheet or plate, season each with salt and pepper.

Melt butter and oil together in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Cook cakes until bottoms are brown, about 4 minutes. Turn over, and cook until brown and cakes are cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

Herbed Greens: Whisk oil, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the chives in a large bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly toss in greens and herbs.

Mound greens on serving plates, top each with crab cakes and dollop each cake with aïoli, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of chives. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 crab cakes

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1 Jessica { 02.28.10 at 10:17 AM }

These look really good! I just got some organic pepper and Himalayan sea salt from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I think I’ll try them both out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

2 tomorrow… — Les Petites Gourmettes { 08.15.10 at 10:28 AM }

[…] previously mentioned the pasteurized lump crab available in 16-ounce containers at Costco and how much I like that product. I always have it on […]

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