Crab Cake Dinner
I have a certain supermarket stroll. The sort that, no matter the crowd, no matter the shopping cart obstacles, I can make my way through the grocery store maintaining a moderate amount of zen. I bag up mushrooms, reach for a clamshell of blueberries, and scoop bulk shovels of oats and popcorn without having to think much about it. I glaze down the chocolate aisle, super casual, like I just happened upon it when in fact I’m going straight for the Brown Butter Dark Chocolate bars. Same for the chip aisle… oh, how did I end up here? I better just grab a bag of potato chips… just since I’m here.
My supermarket stroll rarely strays from course. The consistency is how I maintain the zen… and also end up eating a lot of scrambled eggs, spinach, and handful of blueberries for dinner. I rarely wander past the seafood section for no other reason beyond mundane grocery habits.
Welp… maybe habits are meant to be expanded upon. Rules are meant to be broken, that’s for sure (or at least what they say). Maybe we try habits, occasionally, too.
Crab cakes? They’re butter-topped and baked. Let’s!
Crab cakes start with a creamy-salty-eggs glue sauce. That’s a technical term that chefs use to refer to sauces that also stick. Glue sauce: mayonnaise, dijon mustard, capers and fresh parsley, an egg, and lemon juice. The egg is the real glue. The rest of the ingredients get to hang out and take credit.
Whisked well. Old Bay seasoning is added for spice and New England flavor homage. Extra salt and fresh cracked black pepper because because.
To the wet mixture we add our crab meat. I used the smaller, special claw meat because I like how it binds into patties. Bread crumbs too, to compliment our egg binding and add gumption.
Big scoops shaped into thick patties on a well-greased baking sheet. I made 8 patties and drizzled the unbaked patties with melted butter before baking until lightly browned and broiled until golden.
I served the crab cakes with roasted potatoes (topped with whole grain mustard and fresh parsley), and very buttery corn. It’s an oven dinner, besides the corn. Fresh and light and if you’re chilly on a February night, because it’s chilly on February nights… this is a warming dinner (picture me standing my the oven) and reminiscent of sunny days to come.
- 1 pound small-size fresh crabmeat, such as special or claw
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped capers
- juice of half a lemon, plus wedges for serving
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- Coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Place crabmeat on two layers of paper towels to let drain slightly and gently pick through, removing any shells that remain.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, capers, lemon juice, and egg. Whisk in Old Bay Seasoning, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. I used about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.
- Add the crabmeat and breadcrumbs, using a wooden spoon to gently fold together until thoroughly mixed.
- Dividing evenly, form mixture into 8 cakes. I used a very large cookie scoop to scoop the mixture onto the prepared pan and gently shape into cake rounds. (To make ahead: Arrange cakes in a parchment paper-lined container so they do not touch; separate layers with additional parchment. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
- Just before baking drizzle the cakes on the pan with melted butter. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they begin to brown and bubble. Remove from the oven and heat the oven to broil. Broil until golden brown and warmed throughout, about 5 to 7 minutes (move to lower shelf if tops brown too quickly). Serve with tarter sauce and lemon wedges.