Saturday, January 12, 2013

Crab Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Seems I make crab dishes pretty often.  A quick search of this blog revealed quite a number of recipes that feature crab.  It is surely something to love and makes a great treat on a special occasion or an easy weeknight dinner.  You can easily make both the crab cakes and the sauce days ahead and keep them in the refrigerator until ready for use.

I discussed my crab cake and red pepper sauce recipe just briefly way back in 2010, so today since I'm making these favorites once again, I thought it was about time I give you the full recipe for both the crab cakes and the sauce.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
This sauce can be used for any number of dishes but it is particularly good with seafood.  I'm using it as a sauce for a stuffed fillet of sole next week, as well as for the crab cakes tonight.  The sauce holds reasonably well in the refrigerator. Simply warm it before serving.

Ingredients

2 large  Red Peppers
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 cup  wine vinegar
4 cloves  garlic -- chopped
2 tablespoons  honey -- or simple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup  olive oil
salt and pepper -- to taste

Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds.  Rub lightly with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Roast on the grill or in the oven on a foil-lined cookie sheet until the peppers are slightly charred and tender.  Using your hands or a paper towel, peel off the charred skins.  Roughly chop the roasted peppers and place them in the food processor. 

Add the wine vinegar, garlic, honey and Dijon mustard to the food processor bowl.  Blend for 30-40 seconds, then with the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until it emulsifies.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Crab Cakes
The problem with many crab cakes is that they are too much cake and not enough good crab.  I find this particularly so in the store bought or restaurant produced variety.  This recipe ensures you have just barely enough 'cake' to hold them together.  Your guests won't be disappointed!  The hardest part of the entire recipe is tracking down a good brand of canned crab.

Ingredients
1 pound  crab claw meat or 'lump' crab -- canned and drained
1 large egg
1 small green pepper, chopped and optional
1 small onion, finely chopped and optional
3 dashes hot sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seafood seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons parsley -- chopped
3/4 cup  bread crumbs, Italian preferred
2 teaspoons  cornmeal
2 tablespoons cooking oil


Whisk together all ingredients except for the crab meat, bread crumbs, cornmeal and cooking oil.  
Add the crab and gently fold in.  Add the bread crumbs and gently fold in.

Shape into patties about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick for dinner portions, two per person.  Or make smaller or use one per person as an appetizer.

With the Optional Green Pepper and Onion
Place on platter or in plastic container on wax paper.  Dust lightly with corn meal.  Refrigerate one hour.  This will help to hold the cakes together during cooking.

Add oil to skillet and heat on medium until the oil is hot but not smoking.  (If the oil is not hot it will simply absorb into the cakes and make them greasy.)  Saute on medium heat turning once until golden brown.

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