Baked Crab Cakes (with Spicy Avocado Sauce)

18 Jul

Today’s recipe comes from circle-b-kitchen.com.

Despite my love of almost all seafood and my particular affinity for crab, I don’t believe that I had ever sampled crab cakes prior to making these. When I came across the recipe, however, they sounded and looked way too good to pass up. So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work with a pound of jumbo lump crab meat. The result was another addition to my long list of seafood favorites.

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Ingredients

For sauce:

  • 1 ripe California avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (may need more)
  • 1 chopped Serrano or jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

For crab cakes:

  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over and coarsely shredded
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives or scallions
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. First, prepare the crab cakes. Gently stir together crabmeat, mayonnaise, egg, chives or scallions, lemon juice, mustard, and pepper in a large bowl until combined.
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  3. Form into 4 to 8 patties, cover and chill for about an hour.
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  4. Next, prepare the sauce. Pulse avocado with mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, and one half of the chile in a food processor until chile is finely chopped. I lacked a food processor, so I just diced the chile finely and stirred everything together with a fork.
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  5. Stir in the chopped cilantro and transfer sauce to a bowl and chill, covered.
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  6. Next, melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over moderate heat, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
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  7. Add the salt and panko and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 6 minutes.
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  8. Transfer crumbs to a plate to cool. Discard garlic. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
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  9. Carefully turn each chilled patty in the crumb mixture to coat top and bottom. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining mounds, then sprinkle remaining crumbs on top of crab cakes.
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  10. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

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I really enjoyed these crab cakes. I probably should have made them a bit flatter so that they could have cooked better – mine were pretty soft and therefore fell apart quite easily as I ate them. But that didn’t mitigate how delicious they were. The sauce was a great addition as well, although I felt lukewarm about the cilantro as I always do. When I make them again, I might leave the cilantro out of the cakes and the sauce and see if that resolves my minor issues with the taste.

The best thing about making these is that they’re not nearly as difficult as you might expect homemade crabcakes to be. Just make sure you remember that the recipe calls for chilling the cakes for an hour and to work that into your cooking time, and this recipe should be an easy and delightful one to master.

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