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Lightened Up – Crab Cakes
I’m not sure when I first tried a crabcake. It was probably at a seafood restaurant at the beach. It was amazing. I consequently began to order them at lots of diferent restaurants, only to be disappointed by their bland, greasy flavor and bready fillings.
The one place in Pittsburgh that does them really well is the Duquense Club, but I’m pretty sure about 4 sticks of butter is involved somewhere. And I don’t go there very often (duh).
I’ve determined that a few crucial components can make or break a crab cake:
good quality lump crab meat – this isn’t tuna salad, friends, we’re talking pieces the size of marbles (and bigger)
minimal “filler” – whether it’s plain breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs, or panko, you don’t want too much
not too much seasoning – yes, Old Bay can add some flavor, but when spending your money on the good crab meat, you don’t want to not be able to taste it
Don’t order crab cakes at any restaurant that has a $4.99 dinner special. You’ll get a prefrozen patty that they throw in the deep fryer. It will turn you off forever.
These crab cakes have a lot of flavor, but let the crab shine through. And they come in at 75 calories a piece!
No, that’s not one of my crabcakes. That’s one of Paula Deen’s, according to Food Network’s website. I had always intended to post this as a “lightened up” recipe, but realized her’s really isn’t too different (until you fry them in peanut oil as suggested). I think mine would be just as golden brown and shiny if fried in peanut oil, too. Let’s leave that option open.
Not quite Paula Deen, but not too shabby.
16 oz can crabmeat, lump or jumbo lump, picked through to remove any shell pieces
2 Tbsp light mayo (you could also sub greek yogurt)
1/3 cup crushed oyster crackers (I like the flavor of these, but had intended to use Panko, which I think give the best texture)
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced and sauteed until soft (I used half green, half red)
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 whole egg (you could reduce the calories even more by using only whites)
1/2 tsp Old Bay
1 tsp smoked paprika
1) Combine ingredients, mixing well, and chill for at least 30 minutes for mixture to set. Add more breadcrumbs if soupy, more mayo the mixture is not holding together.
2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3) Using 1/4 cup scoop, form in to patties (I had10 cakes).
4) Bake 8 minutes on a greased baking sheet, flip, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until browned.
A good crab cake holds together but flakes apart easily with large pieces of crab meat in each bite. Check!
Approximate nutrition information: 75 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams carbs, 10g protein.
Salad on the side (too much iceberg, but I didn’t make it so I won’t complain).
As a side dish I made a modified version of Jessica’s broiled tomatoes. I used mozzerella since I didn’t have asiago, but these tomatoes (straight from my neighbor’s garden) were still spectacular.
Also had half a sweet potato with sunflower seed butter and a ton of cinnamon. Have you tried that combo yet?!
Is there something that you make at home because you don’t want to take a chance of being disappointed at a restaurant?