17 January 2008

Crab Cakes on Salad Greens with a Lime Vinaigrette

Every once in awhile, a girl craves a nice juicy crab cake. You know, the type you can get in the Baltimore Inner Harbor restaurants, with the big chunks of juicy crab meat? And hardly enough binder to hold it together, therefore it's like noshing on a big fat crab without the fuss of shelling it?

Yeah, I know: dream on. I live in the Midwest. No seafood for hundreds of miles, besides the crab cakes are more like breaded hockey pucks around here. However, recently I came across a crab cake recipe that actually caught my attention. While I knew I wouldn't be able to make an authentic Baltimore crab cake, this one was interesting in that (1) it's healthy and (2) it has all sorts of yummies like corn and onion and herbs rather than just breadcrumbs for binder. Had to give it a try. Perfect with a simple green salad, I thought.

The crab cake recipe is from Cooking Light. The lime vinaigrette, I am proud to say, I made on my own from what was in the fridge (specifically, some chutney and limes I wanted to use up). And it's very very good, in fact one I've used for several salad recipes since I came up with the thing.

Anyhoo, back to the crab cakes: The mint was a surprise but really good in this recipe, and the curry was very mild (for those afraid of the stuff). I ended up using less breadcrumbs than recommended, and it made for a very moist crab cake. Good stuff! It came together surprisingly quick, too, so this is a good one for a healthy and quick dinner option. And it's sure took care of those crab cake cravings!

Crab Cakes

5 tsp. canola oil, divided
1 c. corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. lump crabmeat, shells removed ***
1/3 c. reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 large egg whites
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 c. plain dry breadcrumbs, divided
Lime wedges

Preheat oven to 450 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, onion, curry powder and garlic; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool completely. Stir in crabmeat.

Whisk mayonnaise, egg whites, lime juice, cilantro, mint and salt in a small bowl. Fold into the crab mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Using about 1/3 cup per patty, form the mixture into eight 3/4-inch-thick patties. Dredge the patties in the remaining breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 crab cakes and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn cakes over onto the prepared baking sheet. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining 4 crab cakes.

Bake the crab cakes until golden on the second side and heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Salad Greens with Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 c. fresh lime juice
Hot sauce, to taste
1 Tbsp. mango chutney
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
Salad greens of choice (about 12 oz.)

Whisk together lime juice, a few dashes of hot sauce, chutney, and sugar in a bowl. Slowly add canola oil while whisking, until emulsified. Add greens to bowl and toss well.

To plate: place greens on a plate. Top with a crab cake or two, and a lime wedge for that extra citrus punch. Enjoy!
*** I used pasteurized crab meat from the grocery store (in a tub-type of dish), but I think that if you are lucky enough to find fresh, you should totally use it! And beware the canned crab - fell for that joke once, and once is enough. It's like eating straw. Ew.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, they look incredible!
Last time I had crab cakes they were so dry... Yuck!
These would make me very happy right now. :)

Deborah said...

I love crab cakes!! I hear you on not being able to find fresh crab, though. I want to move to the coast just for fresh seafood!

Emily said...

Where do you live in the Midwest? I live in southern Missouri, and I tell you, the seafood just plain sucks. Sorry- but it had to be said. Especially the shrimp.

I love crab cakes, too. They look delicious, served over a salad.

Brilynn said...

You've got me craving crab cakes, those look amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nemmie! I just wanted to tell you I tried these the other day. SOOOO yummy! I made a little garlic lemon aoili to go with them. Unfortunately, no luck finding fresh crab in P-burg. I ended up with the pouch. Turns out you need about 4 of those to have enough crab. So I think mine had more breadcrumbs than the recipie called for but still good just the same.