Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Duo of Crabby Patties

Duo of Crabby Patties, originally uploaded by chrisfreeland2002.

Chris and I are in the midst of our annual vacation at Pensacola Beach, a low-key, relaxed beach community along the Gulf Coast in Florida's panhandle. It's heaven - beautiful white beaches and incredibly fresh seafood.

I was inspired to make crab cakes after watching Spongebob Squarepants. For those of you who aren't famliar with the cartoon (shame on you), Spongebob is a frycook at the Krusty Krab making crabby patties. I had crab cakes on the brain, so I made a trip to Joe Patti, Pensacola's famous fish market, to pick up jumbo lump crab meat.

I also watch reality cooking shows like Bravo's Top Chef. I've learned a bit about presentation from those shows, and have always liked how they do duos or trios or flights of things. I thought it would be fun to throw all of these ideas together into a Duo of Crabby Patties - two appetizer-portioned crab cakes on water rolls, one topped with a cucumber mango salsa, one with Creole mayo.

These turned out great, if I do say so myself, and are actually really easy to prepare. You'll get raves and won't ever break a sweat!

2 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T course ground mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 scallions, chopped
2 T parsley, chopped
2 T dill, chopped
1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked through for shells
1/2 cup Panko (substitute with breadcrumbs), plus extra for coating
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter & oil
8 water rolls or other small roll

Lightly beat eggs with whisk. Whisk in mayo, mustard, and lemon juice. Using a wooden spoon, stir in scallions, parsley, and dill. Add crab, Panko, and salt and pepper and gently fold with spoon, being careful not to break the crab into smaller pieces. Gather crab mixture into small palm-sized balls and gently pat into a small rounded patty. Dredge in additional Panko and place on wax-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat butter and oil in large skillet. Cook 4-6 crab cakes at a time, depending on the size of your pan. You want to have room between each cake for even cooking. Cook 4 minutes each side, then drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately with lettuce, tomato, and buns and top one each with Cucumber Mango Salsa and Creole Mayo.

Serves 8.

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