Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Great Crab Cake Test and Crab Snobbery at Its Best

I love cooking, and love crab cakes. I also have a ridiculously high standard when it comes to defining what a true "crab cake" is. I went to, lived, and ate too many amazing crab cakes in the Maryland region to not have converted to being a crab cake snob. Crab cakes contain the best jumbo lump crab and the smallest amount of filler (mayo, a little seasoning or a few breadcrumbs) just to hold it together. It's all about the crab.  But since I only had one container of jumbo crab in my fridge the other day, I decided to do a test.  I tried Barefoot Contessa's (my favorite Food Network personality ever..the woman is FANTASTIC) crab cake recipe which, gasp, is mostly vegetables and filler rather than crab. I needed something that would stretch the crab and make a meal for myself and my very large, hungry boyfriend. While I felt like I was somehow cheating on the entire Baltimore/Chesapeake Bay region, but I did it anyway...

This is how it went...

Chopped a ton of veggies for the cakes

I chopped a ton of veggies for the filling. It included several colors of peppers, celery and red onion. 

This was the seasoning for the filling. It included Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, capers and good ol' Old Bay. I also used Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs that are lighter and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs) to replace the white bread you are supposed to use for the filling. 

I sauteed the veggies with the seasoning until they were slightly soft, but still crunchy. 

Then I added the veggies to this gorgeous Jumbo Lump crab, a little low-fat mayo and the breadcrumbs. I made them into slightly small patties and cooked them in a bit of olive oil. 

Here is the recipe if anyone is interested! ---->Crab Cakes And here is the final product along with an arugula salad I put together with a light, fresh lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil)

The result? I liked them. The veggies were crunchy and the seasoning made for a lot of flavor throughout the cake. I have rarely found a Barefoot Contessa recipe that doesn't work. I think these would be especially yummy if you made them super small and served them as an appetizer for a dinner party.  I don't really consider these true blue "crab cakes",  but I think it's a good option for people trying to stretch expensive crab, people that like a lot of filling with their crab, or even people that would leave the crab out and make a yummy veggie patty. They were very tasty.  Just not a true crab cake : )

Make anything yummy recently? 

3 comments: said...

I would try this one truly!!

kirstyb said...

they look yummy x

Anonymous said...

Oh wow so that's how you do it...I have this great recipe and just didn't know how to do it. Thanks. :)