Sunday, February 4, 2007

Crab Cakes

Adapted from Beat This! by Ann Hodgman

This is a hilarious book with a lot of good recipes. These crab cakes are particularly good, and the orange sauce to serve with them is delicious.  

This recipe makes eight crab cakes to serve 4, but it can successfully be halved to serve 2.

Crab Cakes
Adapted from Beat This! by Ann Hodgman

Serves 4

1 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup minced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 ounces butter, melted
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over
All-purpose flour for dredging the crab cakes
2 tablespoons light vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (not for cooking; just for keeping crab cakes warm after they are cooked).

Melt the butter; I do this in the microwave.  Let it cool but not cool enough to solidify.  Beat the eggs, then combine them with the breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, onion, garlic, the melted and still liquid butter, and seasonings.  Mix well.  Gently stir in the crabmeat. Shape mixture into four patties.  Refrigerate for an hour.

Remove the crab cakes from the refrigerator, and dredge them in flour. (They will be rather fragile so handle them carefully.)

Heat the oil in a frying or sauté pan until very hot, and cook the patties for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until brown and sizzling. Remove, and keep warm in the oven while you make the orange sauce.

Orange Sauce
Adapted from Beat This! by Ann Hodgman

(This is really an orange beurre blanc.)

2 shallots, minced
1 cup fresh orange juice, boiled until reduced to ¼ cup
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits
¼ cup heavy cream

Boil the shallots, reduced orange juice, and wine together in a stainless steel or enameled saucepan until the liquid is reduced to ¼ cup. Whisk in the butter bit by bit, until it is all absorbed. The sauce will be almost as thick as a mayonnaise. Remove the pan from the heat; then whisk in the heavy cream.

The butter and cream must be whisked in at the last minute, but the first part of the sauce – the shallots, wine, and reduced juice – may be prepared ahead of time. Just heat the ¼ cup you have before proceeding with the rest of the recipe starting with whisking in the butter.

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