Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Crab Cakes You'd Run Miles For (But, Thankfully, Don't Have To)

I like to watch cooking shows while I run on the treadmill.  You could look at this one of two ways.  First, "What a nice way to keep yourself entertained while you exercise."  Or, second, "Maybe if you quit watching cooking shows and making the food from them you wouldn't have to run as much."

But on my last run, I discovered a recipe that is both tasty and good for you.  So if you've resolved to start eating a little healthier -- or if you'd like to be able to spend less time on the treadmill -- these crab cakes might be for you.

I will also say that if another one of your resolutions is to scale back your spending a little, these little patties are just fine with krab (a much cheaper look-alike and close-enough taste-alike alternative to crab).

The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger, who, to keep things nutritional, doesn't use a whole lot of binder in the cakes--just a little egg, some breadcrumbs, and no mayo.  They're still tasty, but you may find they fall apart on you.  Some others who've tried the recipe suggest putting all of the bread crumbs into the mixture (rather than using part of them in the mixture and part as a coating).

Ellie also offers a recipe for "smarter tartar."  I'm generally against eating foods with rhyming names, but I made an exception in this case.  I gave it two crab claws up, although Ben would have preferred it with sweet pickles (which are traditional in tartar sauce, I think) rather than sour.  The sour were just fine by me.

Crab Cakes and Sour-Pickle Tartar Sauce (adapted from Ellie Krieger's recipe)

For the crab cakes:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 5 teaspoons brown mustard
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lump crab meat (real or imposter)
  • 1 3/4 dry breadcrumbs
For the tartar sauce:
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt, drained of some liquid
  • 1/4 cup light mayo (we like Duke's -- it's zingy!)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped baby dill pickles
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Pinch of salt
For the crab cakes, mix together the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, crab boil seasoning, hot sauce, bell pepper and scallion. Gently fold in the crab and about 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

Shape the crab mixture into 16 patties, then coat each patty in the remaining bread crumbs.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and bake patties for 10 minutes.  Flip, then cook another 10 minutes.  Serve with tartar sauce.

For the tartar sauce, drain some of the liquid from the yogurt by placing in in cheesecloth-lined bowl and refrigerating overnight.  Mix the thickened yogurt with the remaining ingredients.  Serve.

Makes 16 crab cakes and just over a cup of tartar sauce.

The food: Crab cakes and tartar sauce
The verdict: Grab some crab, it's fab


Anonymous said...

I love crab cakes and this one sounds so good and so healthy.

The Food Hunter said...

I'm running for these!!