Crunchy Crab Cakes with Chili Aioli

One Bowl Dinner

Just this past year I renewed my membership at Costco. I signed up when I had babies, mostly to get diapers on the cheap. But since my kids were safely in underpants and I never seemed to need industrial-size containers of ketchup, I let my card expire.

Now I've found that a once- or twice-monthly Costco trip is essential. There are certain pantry staples that can be found there at such great prices: Italian cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino and fresh buffalo mozzarella; extra-virgin olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, organic eggs, and one-pound cans of lump crabmeat.

When I find a can of crabmeat in my refrigerator near the end of another busy day when I didn't make it to the grocery store, I feel like a mom in a Hamburger Helper commercial, reaching for the package and breathing a big, relieved sigh.

Mixing up a batch of crab cakes couldn't be easier, is way healthier than any meal that comes out of a box and makes just about everyone happy.

I've been experimenting with different recipes, and this one stood out as a winner the other night.

Crunchy Crab Cakes with Chili Aioli
adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster

Makes about 10 crabcakes

1 pound lump crabmeat, picked through for bits of shell
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I leave the seeds in for extra heat)
2 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise, divided
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
2 cups panko crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon Asian chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice

Place the crab in a large bowl along with the peppers, scallions, lemon zest and juice, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup panko. eggs, salt, black and cayenne peppers, and cilantro. Mix gently until well combined.

Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups panko on a shallow tray or baking dish.

Scoop the mixture with a 1/4-cup measure or a small ice-cream scoop and form into cakes about 2-inches in diameter. Dredge the cakes in the panko to coat them lightly on both sides. Arrange them on a large plate or tray, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. When I'm in a hurry, I stick them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the cakes about 3 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer to a paper-towel lined platter. (Keep them in a warm oven if you need to do these in batches)

Stir together the remaining mayonnaise, garlic sauce and lemon juice until smooth. Serve with the hot crab cakes.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food


Deborah Dowd said...

I love crabcakes (and Costco)! You are right though, Costco is essential when your kids are babies, and agin when they get to the period ten to teens (then they will devour the large gallon-size mayo and 5 bs of smoked turkey!)

Your crabcakes look great and make me want to go get my own can of Phillips!

Karen said...

Yes, it's starting already with 3-pound packages of sliced Muenster and giant boxes of Fruity Cheerios.

They don't grow on crab cakes alone, unfortunately!

Alanna said...

When I started reading the opening in Bloglines, I thought, Oh! that sounds just like Karen. Then I realized, it was Karen! I love the Hamburger Helper comparison ...

Laurie said...

I love crab! I will have to pull out my book and try my hand at these cakes! They look really good!

janelle said...

Fabulous! Thanks for the reminder: we haven't had crab cakes for awhile and they are such a nice treat!

Anna said...

I think a Costco membership is worth it for nuts. They have the best prices on pecans, almonds and walnuts. It's hard to beat them on coffee as well.

Tony said...

Have you ever tried crabcakes with red wine?

Moderation is key. You can never have too many crabcakes. But you can have too much red wine.


Lisa said...

Those look so good. I must try. No Costco around here, though.

Diane said...

Since you are in St. Louis, do you go to Global Market as well as costco? My partner and I always hit up the Global when we find ourselves in STL, since their pricing and selection on produce and Asian ingredients are outstanding. Not that I could find Panko in Gasconade County at any price.

Karen said...

Alanna - Yep, you know me well!

Laurie - I hope you like them - and the book has so many recipes that I make all the time.

Janelle - The cakes taste great with a zingy Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy!

Anna - Yes, for sure nuts, chocolate chips, flour, butter.....

Tony - Thanks for the tip, big guy.

Karen said...

Diane, yes I visit Global Foods often. It's a fantastic source for all kinds of things.

It's a good thing panko comes in big bags, and is pretty cheap there!

Kristen said...

Crabcakes are so delicious! Yummmy!
I have this bookmarked for Friday night.