Thursday, March 5, 2020

Lenten Fridays: Featuring Texas Crab Cakes with Cilantro-Lime Remoulade #lentenfridays #seafood #crabcakes #remoulade

It's officially the Lenten I'm always on the lookout for tasty seafood dishes for Friday dinner. Michael and I grew up on the Texas Gulf Coast, so we've been seafood lovers our entire lives. My favorite food -- hand's down -- is seafood! Whether it's fish, crab, or wild-caught Gulf shrimp...seafood is always my first choice! Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing a wide variety of seafood recipes...starting with my decadent Texas Crab Cakes with Cilantro-Lime Remoulade. 

These crab cakes feature huge chunks of sweet jumbo lump crab and very little binder. That's because I wanted the crab to be the star of the show! To accompany these crab cakes, I made a quick remoulade sauce flavored with cilantro and lime. I'm not kidding when I say these crab cakes are over-the-top good! Yes...I realize that jumbo lump crab is a bit of a splurge. However, making crab cakes at home costs much less than going out to a seafood restaurant -- and you can stay in your jammies while you eat!

Texas Crab Cakes with Cilantro-Lime Remoulade
a Weekend Gourmet original
Ingredients (makes 6 crab cakes):
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked over to ensure all cartilage and/or shell is removed
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs [NOTE: I used 12 buttery round crackers for my crumbs]
  • 2 green onions finely sliced
  • Zest + juice from half a large lime
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise [NOTE: I use Duke's]
  • 1 tbs. Creole mustard [NOTE: can use any grainy mustard]
  • 1 tsp. TABASCO or other hot sauce
  • 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt + 1 tsp. pepper 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil for frying the crab cakes
For the remoulade:
  • 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbs. Creole mustard (or any grainy mustard)
  • Zest and juice from half a large lime
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs. TABASCO or other hot sauce
  • 1 tbs. Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
Step 1: Make the remoulade up to a day ahead. If making same day, allow 1-2 hours in the fridge to develop the flavors. Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, green onions, zest and juice from half of your large lime, hot sauce, Creole seasoning, and cilantro to a small bowl. Whisk until the ingredients are completely incorporated and a sauce forms. 
Step 2: Add the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, remaining lime juice and zest, hot sauce, Worcestershire, Old Bay, and salt & pepper to a small mixing bowl. Use a small whisk to completely incorporate the wet ingredients into a smooth emulsion. Set aside.
Step 3: Add the crab, green onion, lime zest, and cracker crumbs to a large mixing bowl. Pour in the reserved wet ingredients and use a sturdy spoon to completely incorporate all of the ingredients. Be sure to combine the ingredients carefully so you don't break up the lumps of crab too much. Use pristinely clean hands to form the mixture into six cakes. Refrigerate the formed crab cakes for at least 30 minutes. However, at least 1-2 hours is best if you have the time.
Step 4: When the crab cakes have chilled, heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat until the oil is hot. Add the crab cakes and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the crab cakes for 4 minutes per side. The crab cakes should be golden-brown on each side. Place the cooked crab cakes on paper towels to remove any excess oil. 
Step 5: To serve, spread 2 tbs. of the cilantro-lime remoulade in the center of a small serving plate. Top with one or two warm crab cakes. Sprinkle the tops of the crab cakes with additional cilantro, salt, and pepper.
These crab cakes are amazing! A crispy exterior gives way to a slightly creamy interior with HUGE lumps of crab that have just enough binder to hold them together. Creole mustard, green onion, hot sauce, and Old Bay provide seasoning without overwhelming the sweet crab. The homemade remoulade is tangy and spicy -- with a nice punch of cilantro. These crab cakes are definitely the star of the show, so I serve them with a simple Caesar salad and a loaf of warm garlic bread on the side.

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