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Where do you get the best crab cakes? Ask one hundred different people and you'll likely get one hundred different answers. Some swear by classic Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, and some by spicy Creole crab cakes, while others maintain that Pacific Northwest crab cakes can't be beat. In I Love Crab Cakes!, award-winning chef and cookbook author Tom Douglas brings the best of East, West, and Gulf coasts to the table and proves that the most delicious crab cakes of all come straight ...
Where do you get the best crab cakes? Ask one hundred different people and you'll likely get one hundred different answers. Some swear by classic Chesapeake Bay crab cakes, and some by spicy Creole crab cakes, while others maintain that Pacific Northwest crab cakes can't be beat. In I Love Crab Cakes!, award-winning chef and cookbook author Tom Douglas brings the best of East, West, and Gulf coasts to the table and proves that the most delicious crab cakes of all come straight from your home kitchen.
Tom thoroughly examines every thorny, crab cake–related issue. Bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, panko, or no crumbs at all? What kind of crabmeat: Dungeness, king, or Peeky Toe? Are the best crab cakes pan-fried, deep-fried, or not even cooked?
Tom offers up dozens of his famous crab cake recipes, including classic crab cakes from East and West, North and South, plus newer innovations such as Wild Ginger Crab Cakes, Pesto Risotto Crab Cakes, and Crab Louie Cheesecakes. There are crab cake sandwiches, breakfast crab cakes, and crab cake sauces and salsas.
Set one of these next to a couple of fried eggs with a slab of toasted and buttered baguette, and call it Sunday brunch. I prefer a good-quality hard-smoked salmon, but lox will work fine if you can get the less salty Nova style.
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 pound crabmeat, drained, picked clean of shell, and lightly squeezed if wet (see page 5)
1/4 pound smoked salmon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons minced parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (see page 7)
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (see page 7), for dredging
About 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Lemon Dill Cream (page 130)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the crabmeat, salmon, parsley, lemon zest, pepper, and cayenne until well combined. Then fold in the fresh bread crumbs. Divide the mixture into 4 mounds and form into 4 patties. Place the patties on a large plate, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
When ready to fry the crab cakes, spread the dried bread crumbs on a large plate. Lightly sprinkle the cakes with bread crumbs on both sides. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. When the butter is melted, place all the patties in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides and hot through, turning once with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side. The internal temperature of a crab cake should read 155°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer the crab cakes to 4 plates, serving 1 per person, and serve with the Lemon Dill Cream as an appetizer or as part of a brunch menu.
Steven Steinbock's favorite bread for his crab cake sandwiches is a crusty, slow-rise loaf made with organic cornmeal and fresh corn kernels that's featured in the Dahlia Bakery every summer. Buy your favorite rustic loaf from your favorite bakery for this sandwich.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 recipe Steven's Perfect Dungeness Crab Cakes (page 20), shaped into 6 flattened oval patties, uncooked
12 slices sourdough or other rustic bread
Fennel Mayonnaise (page 142)
4 cups loosely packed baby arugula leaves (about 3 ounces)
Preheat the broiler.
Put 2 large nonstick skillets over medium heat and add 2 1/2 tablespoons butter to each pan. As soon as the butter is melted, add 3 patties to each skillet. Gently fry the crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides and hot through, turning once with a spatula, 4 to 5 minutes per side. The internal temperature of a crab cake should read 155°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the crab cakes from the pans.
Meanwhile, place the bread on a baking sheet and toast under the broiler, turning, until the bread is a light golden brown on both sides. Remove the bread from the broiler. Spread 2 slices of bread with some of the mayonnaise. Place a crab cake on one of the slices of bread. Put some of the arugula leaves on the other slice of bread. Sandwich the 2 slices together. Repeat with the remaining bread, crab cakes, mayonnaise, and arugula. Cut the sandwiches in half, transfer to plates, and serve.
Excerpted from I Love Crab Cakes! by Tom Douglas Copyright © 2006 by Tom Douglas. Excerpted by permission.
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