Craig's Famous Crabcakes

This is an Evans’ classic. We’ve made these countless times for so many occasions, and they are every bit as good as you get in a restaurant, actually lots better. Full of lump crab meat, moist on the inside, crispy on the out thanks to panko, with a rich flavor. So good that we don’t order crab cakes in a restaurant since we’ve perfected them, adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe. Invest in lump crab meat is paramount to giving the crab cakes the flavor and texture they need to be so tasty. When we made them a few times ago, I failed to make the rémoulade sauce, and Craig said it was like salt without pepper. They just go together.

Craig’s Famous Crab Cakes
Makes about 25 bite sized cakes, serving 6

2 T olive oil
3/4 C small diced red onions (1 small onion)
1 1/2 C small diced celery (4 stalks)
1 C diced red or yellow or a mix of colored bell peppers (2 small peppers)
1/4 C minced fresh flat-leaf cilantro (or parsley)
1 T capers, drained and diced
1/4 t Tabasco – I just sprinkle in and do not “measure”
1/4 t cayenne
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t Old Bay crab seasoning
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb lump crabmeat, drained and picked to remove shells
1/2 C panko breadcrumbs
1/2 C “good” mayonnaise
2 t Dijon mustard
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
Olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the onion, celery, red and/or yellow bell peppers, cilantro, capers, Tabesco, cayenne, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, salt, and pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, break the lump crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the panko, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the cooked mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (I’ve made them a few hours in advance to this point and they are fine.)
Shape into crab cakes.

Heat olive oil to cover the bottom of a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the crab cakes and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a 250 degree oven and serve hot. Repeat adding more olive oil as needed to cook all of the crab cakes.

Rémoulade Sauce
Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 C “good” mayonnaise
2 T cornichons or small-diced pickles
1 t coarse-grained mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse several times until the pickles are finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed but not puréed.

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