The big food thrill of winter in Northern California is that it is Dungeness Crab season. There is simply nothing better than fresh cracked crab, but you have to make sure the crab is very fresh. During the season we will call Whole Foods and ask when the last shipment came in. If it is the same day, we’re there. Sometimes we greedily pick up more crab than we can actually eat in one sitting. In these cases, the crab meat gets formed into crab cakes to be eaten at the next meal. My father found this recipe for spicy crab cakes recently and they were are absolutely delicious.
- 4-5 slices white sandwich bread
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 2 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 pound cooked fresh Dungeness crabmeat, picked over and drained
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp prepared horseradish (see how to make horseradish for a scratch version)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
1 Tear up the bread and pulse in a food processor to make fine, soft crumbs (about 4 cups). Transfer the bread crumbs to a shallow pan and mix in 1/2 cup of the parsley.
2 In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, mustard, paprika, thyme, celery seeds, and black pepper. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream until the mixture emulsifies and forms a mayonnaise-type sauce. Transfer sauce to a bowl.
3 In a large bowl, combine the onion and bell pepper with the remaining 1/4 cup of parsley. Add the mayonnaise-type sauce and crabmeat and mix lightly. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1 cup of the bread crumb mixture. Do not overwork the mixture. Gently form 6 cakes and flatten them into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Dredge the patties lightly in the remaining bread crumb mixture. Cover the crab cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or longer.
4 Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat and add about 2 Tbsp of butter to the pan. Working in batches, fry crab cakes gently 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and heated through. Add more butter to the pan if necessary.
5 To prepare the horseradish mayo, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and refrigerate.