Most of you have heard of my friend, Jimmy, who lives in Philadelphia (Philly). Jimmy and I bonded on a Bruce Springsteen forum not really because of our admiration for The Boss, but from a mutual love of travel and food. We have encouraged one another to try foods that we might otherwise never have tried, and we (for this really you should read ‘I’) have mocked on occasions when we (for this read ‘Jimmy’) have been very wussy about trying unfamiliar ingredients (i.e., pigeon). Jimmy took me to my all-time favourite cheese shop, Di Bruno Bros in Philly, which has an amazing selection of cheese from all over the world. I was so entranced that I didn’t even look at their selection of salami. That’s for my next visit. In return Jimmy got to taste some of my favourites, brebis de Corse/brebis aux herbes, a true Cheddar and if I remember correctly a brie de nangis. After a spirited discussion about mozzarella and the lack of truly good mozzarella in the US, when I came to the conclusion that it was the milk, I was delighted to find my favourite Italian mozzarella here and take some for him try. He approved. Jimmy also took me to try my first (and to date only) Philly cheesesteak. He told me how to order ‘With/Without’ onions and the type of cheese – American/Swiss/Provolone. I enjoyed the cheesesteak while I was eating it, but it lingered rather too long and I certainly won’t ever emulate Matt in eating 9 cheesesteaks in 8 days!
Anyway, Jimmy is my higher authority on crab cakes. He makes them for a local deli and they sell out. He gave me the spices when we first met in Philly, and now he has given me the full recipe. He’s also given me his recipe for the sauce to accompany the crab cakes. So for Sue who asked so nicely – good luck with finding jumbo lump crab in New Zealand – and here you go. The quantities are US imperial cups and I have left the recipe exactly as Jimmy gave it to me, except to say that I think the vegetables for the cakes should be chopped quite finely.
Crab Cakes – Ingredients
- 1 lb lump crab meat
- Salt & Fresh ground pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 shallot
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
- ½ tablespoon Creole Seasoning
- 2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 large eggs beaten
- Squirt of fresh lemon juice
Heat skillet over medium high and then add butter, shallots, peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Sauté shallots and peppers until translucent. Add to bowl and leave until cool. To the peppers add mayo, Tabasco, Creole Seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, half of the Panko bread crumbs, mustard, eggs, lemon juice and mix to make slurry. In a separate bowl add crab meat. Add slurry to crab meat and fold together. Fold (Do Not Mix) slurry and crab meat together. You want to gently coat crab meat without breaking it up.
In another bowl add panko bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning and mix together.
Form crab cakes into balls and squeeze out the moisture. Roll crab balls in seasoned bread crumbs and then form into cakes. Repeat until done. Store crab cakes in fridge for at least one hour and up to overnight.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Place crab cakes in skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side turning just once. For thick crab cakes finish them in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Crab Cake – Sauce
- 1 cup Mayo
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard (this will be American mustard)
- 1/2 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together.