Monday, May 18, 2009

Three Isn't Always a charm - Crab Cakes


Crab cakes from Sunset.com do not make the cut.

This year I made just two New Year's resolutions: Drink more bubbly and create the ultimate crab cake.

It's nearly five months into 2009, and I'm happy to report that I'm making good on the first goal. The second, not so much.

I made the first batch of crab cakes for a New Year's Eve party. Adapted from a recipe on the Williams Sonoma site, they were good but not the ultimate.

I tried again with the recipe from the Turf Club at Santa Anita. Now these are, as far as I'm concerned, the ultimate crab cake, without a bread crumb in sight. They were also labor intensive and require several hours in advance preparation.

For my third attempt, I went to Sunset.com and tried this simple recipe. I liked the idea of binding the crab cakes with the same tarragon aioli sauce that tops the cakes. I thought the 1 3/4 cups of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) was excessive, so I reduced the amount to 1/2 cup, but the crab still didn't shine through.

The quest continues.


39 comments:

altadenahiker said...

I have no idea if this guy knows his stuff, but take a look:

http://www.crabcakeguy.com/faidleys-world-famous-crab-cakes/

Margaret said...

Continue the quest! Onward and upward!

Barbara1of3 said...

They do look beautiful, though!

The Food Librarian said...

They certainly are pretty though! I wish you good luck and look forward to your research!! :)

Desiree said...

More bubbly! I love resolutions you can actually keep--and for crab cake garnish I love mixing wasabi into sour cream, delish.

Jean Spitzer said...

A resolution to produce the ultimate crab cake--fabulous! If you ever segue to latkes, I a can offer advice.

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

Hi Susan, I saw your blog on Blogger as Blogs of note today, and found my way to your food blog (naturally, lol). Just wanted to say Hello!

Lori Webster said...

Ahhh, crab cakes....love them, but I've never found a wonderful recipe for them, either.

Cafe Observer said...

CRAB, cakes doesn't sound too appetizing to me. However, I'm willing to give Chocolate cake a try.

Cafe Observer said...

Oh, SC we finally gotta over to Polkatots for brunch, I mean, cupcakes!

Allison Lemons said...

I know it sounds boring, but the best crab cakes I ever made I baked, not fried. Two minutes before they're done dot some butter on top and set to broil. They get so nice and toasty. These also have no breadcrumbs. Great post!

rhonda35 said...

Our family recipe for crabcakes is in my sister's book "Cooking for Mr. Latte" by Amanda Hesser. It does use some breadcrumbs, but the cakes burst with crabmeat and the cilantro gives them nice flavor.

Never had anyone turn down one of my crabcakes!

Good luck!

Susan C said...

AH, Interesting recipe. He punches with dill pickles. Must be a regional thing.

Margaret, I have seven months left. Determined!

Barbara, I think they looked much better than they tasted (although the guests seemed to enjoy them).

Food Librarian, Thanks, and if you come across a good recipe, please let me know.

Desireee, Wasabe and sour cream sound wonderful together. I'll have to try.

Jean, I ADORE latkes and eat them by the dozens at my friend Natasha's annual Hannukah party. I've never made them at home, and I think that's a shame.

Hi, Rachelle, Thanks so much for "finding," reading and commenting.

Lori, I should bring over a sample to you after my next test batch.

CO, So what did you think of the Polkatot cupcakes?

Allison, I think baking/broiling the crabcakes sounds brilliant.

Rhonda, I love cilantro and think that would be great with crab. But now you're being a tease. Is there any way I can get that recipe? I bet they're fabulous.

dishinanddishes said...

I saw Bobby Flay make some killer ones on Throwdown...try those?

dishinanddishes said...

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/blue-corn-crab-cakes-with-black-olive-red-pepper-relish-and-basil-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html

Here's the link...he says the secret is not too much of filler and more crab!

Trish said...

I was going to suggest checking out FoodNetwork's recipe collection. Half of what's there is drek, but I think you can weed out the ones that look like ick to begin with.

And, if you want some tips on making latkes, I'm happy to help---I never have any leftover---as every last one gets eaten every time I make them. The hardest part is the frying, which isn't too hard. Am sure a latke/crab cake might be interesting, but I suspect you won't find a recipe for that in most Jewish cookbooks...just sayin'!;-)

Susan C said...

dishinanddishes, Thanks so much for this recipe. With some minor tweaks, this may be "the one." I love that it has no bread filler and that it uses creme fraiche. I will undoubtedly eliminate the horseradish. (4T?!?)

Trish, You might be on to something with the latke/crab cakes. As a matter of fact, I'm waiting for someone to forward to me a recipe for crab cakes that uses mashed potatoes as the binder.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I'm here to offer words of support. Thats all I got. Still haven't had a crab cake yet alone make one. I've never had a white castle burger either. Ok, now I'm just starting to feel bad.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

I am thinking of something with fluffy egg whites folded in at the last, a bit of flour, baking powder, minced onions, cracked pepper, lemon zest, parsley and fresh crab.

I'll give it my best shot and let you know.

Susan C said...

PA, You're not missing out on much with the White Castle burgers. Funny thing is I loved them when I first had them in Columbus, OH, in the mid-70s, but now find them disgusting. Although I guess they started the trend for "sliders."

Miss H, I think you may be on to something. I've perused dozens of recipes, and I can tell you that fluffy egg whites and baking powder are unique ingredients. I think lemon zest makes anything better.

Calamity Anne said...

I love crab cakes, and in my humble opinion, I believe I have the best crab cake recipe. Give it a try, and see what you think.
http://calamityanne.blogspot.com/2008/07/crab-cakes.html

Jackie @PhamFatale.com said...

ooh I love crab cake

Michael said...

Sorry to hear this. They look so good in the picture.

REZA said...

hmmmmm,,,,,,,
it looks delicious,,,,

Alex J. Burtness said...

As a Marylander I absolutely love crab cakes and respect anyone who sets out to master them. Great work!

Sheree Thoburn said...

The crabcake recipe in the cookbook for the Magnolia Restaurant in Charleston S.C. is very good and not too difficult.

Susan C said...

Ann and Sheree, Thanks so much for the recommendations for crab cake recipes. I will give yours a try, Ann, and will hunt for that cookbook.

John said...

I'm from Baltimore (crab cake central, it seems), and though i remarkably have not eaten at Faidley's (one of the early commenters mentioned it), it is well known around here. We're fiercely loyal to our crab cakes here in Maryland and our crabs along the Chesapeake.

I can't speak for crab cakes from any other part of the country or even the world. But as far as Maryland-style crab cakes goes, our problem with finding the best crab cake recipe is that just about everyone here has his or her own favorite. I myself like the ones at G&M, a place not far from BWI Airport. But mine is just one of a million opinions. I wrote
this post a few years ago. The comments are more instructive than what I wrote, I think, because they provide some interesting ideas about how to bind a crab cake:

Chinoy said...

is Crab Cakes Delicious i don't think so.. ehehe but its look deliciously...

Secrets said...

I love crab cakes!!!

Triple Dimplez said...

hey.. i am 14 yrs old and i love to eat too!!! im actually an aspiring pastry chef.. are you a chef?? or just a food lover (like me of course ^_^)?? LOL please keep in touch with me, I have a blog on blogger.com also.. its called "What the shit?!" ('scuse my language). read it if you want, or pass it along to your friends (if you could do that I'd appriciate it very much) the blog is very random with very random topics... but I talk about some good stuff that teens (or maybe even adults) will like...

Alice Anne said...

Maryland is known for our crabcakes! Check out Of Tide and Thyme, the Junior League of Annapolis' cookbook!

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Felipe Luccas said...

I loved this blog! I'm from brazil.
The brazilian's foods are very delicious! I think you know! kisses!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog!

l0ulii said...

It looks good xD
You should visit my blog, it talks about french food, i give recipes and all ^^

And sorry for my english ><
Byee (k)

In The Pink said...

Oh yum. I know what I want for dinner tonight . . . Oh, wait. I am eating out. Oh YUM. I DO love food.

In The Pink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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