One of the recipe articles on my website this week was for my version of Slightly Spicy Crab Cakes. My mother-in-law Joan is in town for a week-long visit and before she came I asked my foodie question. It’s the same question I ask before every visit.
“Any special recipe requests beside the ribs you know I’m going to smoke when you’re in town?”
My wife Ally and I know that Slow Smoked Ribs are a given with every visit from Momma Joan, also known as “Me-Me” to her grand kids, nieces, and nephews… and friends… and our neighbors. She has some pretty loyal fans! So what was the other recipe request? Crab Cakes!
Easy Recipe / East Ridge Ingredients!
The great thing is that these crab cakes are not only easy to make but they can also feature a variety of seafood! You can make shrimp cakes, salmon cakes, catfish cakes, clam cakes… you get the idea. For this recipe we are sticking to using crab or imitation crab!
I was asked by a reader of www.thedeckchef.com about where I bought my ingredients for the crab cake story. Granted, Ally and I shop several of the “natural” stores for select items. But in general, we do our shopping – in no particular order – at the East Ridge Food Lion, the Food City near the tunnels, as well as the new Neighborhood Market. I think every ingredient in this recipe were purchased in East Ridge.
Notes to Remember!
THE CHILL! Making crab cakes is pretty simple. The trick, in my humble opinion, is to allow some chilling time between the time you make the patties and the time you cook them. So, plan ahead! The chilling time firms’ things up which reduces the crumble factor people are often scared of. The picture above shows a batch ready to chill before cooking.
BIG CHUNKS! Another tip is to avoid HUGE chunks of anything. This goes for crab meat, veggies, etc. You don’t have to mince everything to a paste – but crab pieces should be flaked or about the size of a pencil eraser or slightly smaller.
COOKED CRAB! This recipe is set up for pre-cooked seafood. That makes this recipe perfect for leftover seafood such as shrimp or baked fish as well as frozen shrimp etc.
Kent’s Slightly Spicy Crab Cakes
I know the ingredient list is pretty long – but don’t worry – it breaks down into five simple things. You have the crab meat, and some wet stuff for flavor and binding, chopped stuff, some seasoning stuff, and bread crumbs! All can be found at East Ridge grocery stores.
2 packages Flake Style Imitation Crab Meat, 8 ounce each
3 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup sweet onion, fine chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, fine chopped
1/3 cup green onion, fine chopped
Butter or oil for the sautéed veggies.
2-3 tablespoons fine chopped parsley
3 cups plain bread crumbs
1/4 tablespoon seafood seasoning
Dashes of garlic powder
Dashes of salt and pepper
Additional breading for dredging
Additional seafood seasoning for sprinkling
Vegetable oil – for pan frying cakes
Directions: First – Combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Next – sauté the sweet onion, green onion, and red bell pepper in some butter or oil. Stir in the veggies, remaining seasonings, and bread crumbs.
Forming the Cakes! Form into equal size patties – you may need to rinse your hands a few times – the patties should be about the width of the top of a coffee mug, and slightly thicker than a deck of cards. Dredge each cake in reserved bread crumbs, place on a cookie sheet with wax paper, chill for an hour or so.
Cooking the Cakes – Cook in hot oil until golden brown, turn, cook until the other side is golden. You can keep the cooked crab cakes warm in the oven on a cookie sheet while finishing up the remaining cakes.
Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also penned Young Reader and History titles. The former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest also covers football, motor-sports, and bass fishing. Kent currently lives in East Tennessee with his wife, son, and a couple of dogs that love when he fires up the smoker or grill.