Friday, April 12, 2013

Food Lover's Kitchen Crab Cakes

A few weeks ago, while perusing the meat counter at Sprouts, I came across some canned crab meat and felt compelled to buy it.  I've been wanting to try making crab cakes, but most of the recipes I've seen have used alternative flours and were fried.  I was very excited when I saw that this recipe from The Food Lover's Kitchen were both baked and didn't have any alternative fours in them.  Score!

The recipe as written calls for macadamia nut mayonnaise   When I went to the store, an 18 ounce bottle of macadamia nut oil cost $18.99.  I just couldn't stomach paying that much for oil.  Sorry.  I commented on the recipe and asked if olive oil may would do and they replied that it would, so I made a batch of olive oil mayonnaise the night before I made these crab cakes.    

I turned the oven on to pre-heat to 350 degrees and then whisked an egg in a bowl and adding my fresh olive oil mayonnaise to it.  

The recipe calls for 1 shallot.  If you've not cooked with shallots, it can be hard when a recipe just says to use "X number" of shallots to figure out what that means.  Does each clove of a shallot bulb count as a shallot or does each bulb regardless of the number of cloves count as a shallot?  Usually, when I see a vague ingredient measurement, if I have time, I'll try to ask the authors for a more specific measurement.  I didn't really thinking about it, in this case, until I was standing in the kitchen staring at my shallots.

This link suggests that one shallot refers to the entire bulb regardless of the number of cloves. My shallot I bought had two good sized cloves inside.  I thought using both would be too much.  I minced one clove and thought that it seemed like enough shallot for the recipe.  I measured it and it was 2.5 tablespoons.

After adding the shallot, I added the chopped parsley and old bay seasoning.  

The recipe calls for lump crab meat and I had bought claws.  After looking at the pictures with the recipe, I figured my crab claws would be fine so long as I chopped them up a bit.

After chopping the crab claws, I added them to the bowl and mixed everything together.

I put some latex gloves on and formed patties with my hands.  The recipe says you should be able to get 6 cakes, but I only got 5.  I tried reducing the size of the cakes, but when I did they seemed too small.  This could be because I used claws but I did chop them up pretty well.  I'm fine with 5.  

I sprinkled them with old bay seasoning.  

While the crab baked for 25 minutes, I prepared the sauce.  

The sauce is as easy as measuring out the ingredients into a bowl and whisking them together. 

When the timer went off, here is what I had. 

They looked great, but I wasn't prepared for the mayonnaise goo oozing from the crab cakes.  I'm not posting these pictures to gross anyone out, but rather to prepare you for the possibility of ooze.  

And a close up of the ooze.  

Fear not, the ooze can be removed pretty easily.  Here is the finished crab cake with sauce.

Pretty crab cake.

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  The 16 ounce can of crab meat I bought was $9.99.  You should be able to find all of the ingredients for this recipe at your "big box" grocery store. The mayonnaise you'll need to make yourself as, alas, I've yet to see a store bought mayonnaise that isn't full of undesirable ingredients.   

Preparation and Cooking Time:  The stated preparation time for this recipe is 10 minutes.  Not including the time it took for me to make the mayonnaise, the preparation time for this recipe was 18 minutes including the time I took to chop up the crab claws.  To be fair, I'll subtract the 3 minutes it took me to chop up my crab claws.  The crab cakes baked for 25 minutes.  The total preparation and cooking time was 40 minutes, only 5 minutes over the stated total time needed.  

The mustard sauce took a grand total of 2 minutes 45 seconds to prepare and I made it while the cakes baked.  

Clean up:   I cleaned up my preparation materials while the cakes baked.  When they were finished, I put my baking sheet in the dishwasher.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  The crab cakes were super light.  The spices complemented the crab flavor.  I think my guess as to how much shallot to use was just about right.  I recommend serving these with a good portion of vegetables because they weren't very filling to me.  These might be better made into small balls as Hors d'oeuvres.  I wouldn't keep them in the refrigerator for more than a day as they already tasted a little fishy and were a little soggy when I had them as leftovers the next day.  

If you're looking for a light crab cake without alternative flours, I recommend trying this recipe.