Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quick Crab Cakes

New Year's Eve Crab Cakes

Happy New Year!

Crab cakes seem intimidating to make, but this approach makes them easy and fast. The secret ingredient is potato chips.

I tend to make them when I need to take something to a party, like last night for New Year's Eve, hence, mine are bite-size.

But you could make them as patties for a first course or to top a mesclun salad.

Also, I tend to make them when Wegman's has fresh crab, usually around the holidays. The better the crab, the better the crab cake.

They can be made 15 minutes before you go to a party, as long as you get everything out ahead of time and ready.

I found this quick method in Real Simple, June 2007. I use their basic approach and then doctor the crab mix with more spices.
If you want to keep it easy, you could simply use Old Bay seasoning for a classic crab cake taste.

The original recipe calls for 1 1b. crab cake but I cut it in half.  Here's how I do it:

Quick Crab Cakes
adapted from Real Simple, June  2007
Makes 24 bite size crab cakes or 4 patties
1 1/2 cups kettle style potato chips, finely crushed  (we like Cape Cod)
1/2 lb. (8 ounces) crab meat, picked through to remove any shells
1/3 cup tartar sauce  (or mayonnaise with sweet relish, if you want to make your own)
2 T. Dijon mustard
For the seasoning:
1/2 t. onion powder
pinch of celery seed, if you have it
pinch of coriander, if you have it
1/2 t. Hungarian paprika
1/2 t. dried chervil, or fresh parsley, or even dried sweet basil (something green)
(or you can use 1 T. Old Bay seasoning instead of the above )

1 T. butter, cut into 24 little cubes for dotting the cakes

In a medium bowl, add the crab, the crushed potato chips, tartar sauce, mustard and seasonings.  Stir to combine.  Make sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed, especially the potato chips.
Form into 24 little cakes, and place on a foil-lined,baking sheet. 

Top each cake with a little dot of butter.

Broil until browned.  It will take only a couple of minutes.  Rotate midway if necessary to be sure they are evenly browned.
Transfer to a warmed platter, and keep as warm as you can until you get to the party.
We use a Pyrex Portable with a heated insert.
The crab cakes can also be broiled at the party, if the host/hostess doesn't mind you using his/her oven, but be sure to use a broiler-proof serving platter.
They taste good even at room temperature.


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