A New Twist On A Family Classic Crab Cake

My favorite recipe for crab cakes
Crab cakes remind me of  New Orleans (one of my favorite places to visit and dine) probably because that is where I had them for the first time at Emeril Lagasse's restaurant. Since then I have been making crab cakes for about 20 years.  The recipe that I fell in love with was one that I had cut out from
Bon Appetite magazine years ago and rubber cemented it onto a 3 by 5 index card.  That is actually how I did it back then. Before that I used to type the recipe out on the card. Yes, I actually did this. I had a whole recipe box filled with index cards, some typed and some with the recipes glued on to them. Through the years some of the recipes fell off the cards, some I weeded out and others remained treasured, like my recipe for crab cakes. I never gave it a thought to ever change this recipe. The recipe is so good that my husband always comments on how mine are better than ones we have had in restaurants. He will testify that there isn't enough crab, or they are mushy, or the dipping sauce isn't as good as the basil mayonnaise that accompanies mine. But last night it occurred to me to maybe make a change.  I think my little garden may have influenced the thought.  The crab cakes I have eaten in restaurants have always been traditional in flavor and served with a remoulade sauce.  Since I've been growing jalapenos, and was thinking of what to with them, it occurred to me that I have never had a crab cake with Mexican flavors. So here is my take on my family famous classic crab cake.

For the avocado mayonnaise:
1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1 medium size ripe avocado, cut in cubes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Lime juice to taste
12 basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

For the crab cakes:  (Makes 6 large crab cakes or 12 appetizer size)
4 cans lump crab
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro or parsley
1/3 cup panko crumbs to be mixed in with the crab cakes
1/3 to 1/2 cup avocado mayonnaise
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Panko crumbs for coating outside of crab cakes
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Make the avocado mayonnaise first.  Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor and mix well. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Set aside and refrigerate.

For the crab cakes, saute shallot and jalapeno pepper in olive oil over medium high heat until onion is translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Let cool before combining with crab meat.  Add 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, combine well. Add avocado mayonnaise. Add cilantro or parsley.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  In three separate shallow dishes, place flour in one, mixed eggs in another, and flour in the third dish.  Season each with a little salt and pepper. Form crab cakes one at a time, dredge in flour tapping excess off, dip both sides in egg, then coat with panko crumbs. Set on parchment or wax paper.  At this point you can refrigerate them for a few hours before cooking them.

Heat skillet over medium high heat and working in batches, cook crab cakes on both side until golden brown.  Serve with avocado mayonnaise on the side.

*After Thought Note - You could also saute finely chopped red pepper with the shallot and jalapeno pepper for added color.


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