Friday, December 19, 2008

Crab Cakes and Aioli

Some time ago I realized that I had two cans of crab in my pantry and not a clue where they had come from. I knew I needed to do something with them and when my husband and I were digging through cookbooks for upcoming meals, I came across the perfect recipe. During college I babysat for this very nice family. They happened to get Cooking Light magazine and I’d copy down recipes from time to time when they looked interesting enough. That’s where this recipe comes from and I’m really glad I finally got to use it.

The recipe pairs crab cakes with red pepper mayonnaise, but I only had one pepper (and yellow at that), so I searched for a good aioli recipe to have with the cakes. The original is here. I served it all up with some celery sticks. Both were really easy recipes and I will try it again.

Crab Cakes from Cooking Light and Aioli from

Makes about 6 cakes and about 1½ cups aioli

For the aioli-
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (more like 8!)
½ tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 large egg yolks
Fresh lemon juice

For the cakes-
1/3 c. reduced fat mayonnaise
¼ c. minced red onion
¼ c. minced red bell pepper (I used yellow)
2 Tb. minced celery
1½ fresh lemon juice
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 lb. lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
1¼ c. panko, divided
2 Tb. butter (I used olive oil instead)
6 lemon wedges, optional

Do the aioli first to let the flavors mingle a bit more. You could even do this a day ahead of time. In blender (I used my mini prep food processor. It was a lot easier than using my huge blender), purée garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and 2 teaspoons oil until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add yolks (save one of the whites for the crab cakes!) and lemon juice and blend until smooth. With motor running, very slowly add remaining 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons oil in thin, steady stream, blending until aioli is thick, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the cakes, combine 1/3 cup mayo and next 6 ingredients (through crab) and ¾ cup panko in a large bowl. Stir until well combined.

Form into 6 patties. Dredge patties in reaming ½ cup panko.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil. I use this because I like the taste better) in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 patties, cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through, turning once. Remove from pan and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and patties.

Serve crab cakes with aioli and garnish with lemon wedges if desired.

Like I said before, these were awesome and I will find a way to show them off to friends soon.

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