Monday, July 22, 2013

Pacific Northwest Dungeness Crab Cakes


Despite my enthusiasm in this picture, I don't prefer to eat crab. I've never been partial to shellfish which is odd because I grew up watching my dad pull up pots filled with dungeness crab every summer from our family boat. The taste of crab is actually quite mild and pleasant but I think my phobia is mostly wrapped around the fact that crab have that distinctive spider look. It's all mental, yes, but I don't think there's enough time in the day to express my fear of spiders.

With that said, I have to give 100% of the culinary credit to my wonderful husband who made these golden dungeness crab cakes (Tom played off the recipe found here). My family and I spent last weekend on the boat cruising around the Puget Sound just outside Gig Harbor. We dropped two crab pots (in separate locations), and after 1-hour, we caught 5 really big dungeness crab fresh from the Puget Sound. They were snappy, but we were happy. We caught 5 more the next day. It was a crab feast, and while I couldn't stomach the thought of dipping pure crab meat in butter, I actually really enjoyed the crab cakes Tom made. They have a little kick of spice, but they are light in flavor. For those of you who love dungeness crab, a Pacific Northwest delicacy, I suggest you give these baby cakes a try.


Ingredients


Makes 6 cakes


1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 small shallot, minced
1 celery rib, chopped small
1/2 jalapeno, diced small
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. black pepper
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
dash of garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 lb. crab meat
1 1/4 cup panko
2 tbsp. oil


Directions 

Whisk the first 11 ingredients together. Add crab mean and fold to blend. Stir in 3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Form each into 1"-thick patties. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.  This will allow the panko to absorb some of the liquid.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place remaining 1/2 cup panko on a plate. Coat cakes with panko. I found it especially important to not break chilled cakes.  Once broken they tend to not go back together.

Use spatula to carefully lower onto hot pan.  Fry until golden brown and crisp.  This takes approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Arrange atop lettuce (maybe? we did...) and serve with lemon wedges.  Lemon juice on each cake makes them even more enjoyable!


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