Celebrity Chef: Panhandle Crab Cakes

Panhandle Crab Cakes

  • 1 pound fresh jumbo lump crab meat (do not use canned!)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 green onions chopped (just tops)
  • 2 tablespoons red bell pepper finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried summer savory or thyme
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers (Divided in half! You will need half for crab cake mixture and half for coating)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (for coating)
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • *Several paper-thin slices of Prosciutto for appetizer version

    Rinse crabmeat, remove any cartilage, drain well and refrigerate until needed. In a medium non-stick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté red bell pepper until tender. Add green onion, garlic, and summer savory or thyme and sauté briefly. Add parsley and ½ cup Ritz cracker crumbs to mixture, mix well and set aside to cool.

    In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, mustard, egg, Cayenne pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Thoroughly combine liquid mixture with cooled cracker mixture. Gently fold in crabmeat, cover and refrigerate about 1 hour until set. Combine ½ cup Ritz cracker crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Using an ice cream scoop (for best results), scoop out crab mixture in equal portions and shape into patties. Coat patties with crumb mixture, pressing crumbs firmly onto crab cakes. Place formed crab cakes on a tray and refrigerate for 2 hours or over night.

    Coat a non-stick pan with a light coating of vegetable oil (1-2 tablespoons). Sauté crab cakes over medium heat until golden brown on each side. Make sure crab cakes appear set before flipping. Crab cakes can be served alone or with any condiment you like. They are terrific with Remoulade Sauce or Lemon Dill sauce (recipes below). *For appetizers, reduce crab cake size and wrap with a very thin slice of Prosciutto. Sauté (seam side down first) on both sides until crispy. Serve immediately.

    Remoulade Sauce

  • 1-cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Zattaran’s Creole mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Ketchup
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients in food processor until thoroughly combined and creamy. Refrigerate several hours or over night.

    Lemon-Dill Sauce

  • 1 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

    Whisk together to combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for several hours or over night.

    Shonda’s Southwestern Chicken Cakes

    Follow crab cake recipe with the following substitutions:

  • 1 pound finely chopped rotisserie chicken instead of crabmeat
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro instead of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning instead of the Old Bay Seasoning and Summer Savory

    Serve with Mango Salsa: Combine 3 chopped fresh mangos, 3 tablespoons minced red bell pepper, 2 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro, 1 finely minced jalapeno pepper (seeded), 2 tablespoons minced red onion and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Optional: Salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

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