Here’s a simple way to turn a tasty dinner into a love fest. At Chez Bullhog, we have crab cakes at least once a month, made with fresh Dungeness Crab – a local favorite here in the Northwest. We spice them either with a bit of curry or this way, with Cajun spicing. Turning them heart shaped for a ‘Valentine eve’s dinner’ brought smiles around the table. I mean, hey! What’s not to love?
Makes 5 patties
10 ounces of crab meat, picked clean and drained of excess water
3/4 to 1 cup + ¼ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
4 spring onions
2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon of salt
1½ teaspoons of Cajun spice
½ teaspoon of American chili powder
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon butter
A 3” heart-shaped cookie cutter
- Cut the bottom 5 inches from the onions, discarding the tops but keeping some of the green. Trim off roots, slice lengthwise in quarters and chop finely.
- Break any large bits of crab into chunks. In a mixing bowl, lightly combine the crab, onion, 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, salt, and Cajun spice. Break the egg over the top and toss to incorporate. The mixture should be somewhat wet but not runny; if you can’t make a ball with the mixture add up to ¼ cup more breadcrumb.
- Sprinkle half of the reserved breadcrumbs onto a pizza pan or large dinner plate. Make 5 balls with the crab mixture and set them onto the breadcrumbs. (You’ll want to clean off your hands at this point.)
- Put the cookie cutter over a ball and dust it lightly with breadcrumbs. Press the crab mixture all the way to the sides of the mold with your fingers, making the patty as even in thickness as you can. Carefully release the heart and clean off the sides of the cookie cutter if necessary. When you’ve done all five, sprinkle the tops with a bit more breadcrumbs and dust with chili powder.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil and 1 Tablespoon butter over medium heat in a 12” frying pan. Put the side with the chili powder down against the oil and fry for 4 minutes. Dust the tops with chili powder before turning, add the last teaspoon of oil to the pan and fry on the other side for another 4 or 5 minutes until medium brown and slightly crispy.
- Turn the burner off, put a lid on the pan, and let steam for 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
Toss in a little candlelight, some champagne? Now you’re talking!
Copyright © 2012 by Don Hogeland