Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins
You'll be glad you tried this recipe, and your friends & guests will love you! Although it takes a little extra effort to make small crab cakes, they cook in nothing flat. They can be made ahead, and cooked ahead (then reheated), or cooked at the last minute. Perfect for a brunch, luncheon, appetizer, or light, romantic supper. For a bite-sized appetizer, place mini-crabcakes on a warm serving tray. Garnish tray with small sprigs of fresh parsley and basil. Place a very small dollop of Caesar Dressing on each crabcake, top with garnish of your choice, and serve while warm. If this salad is served as a first-course to a main entree, this will serve 10 people (3 crab cakes each). The seasoning for these crab cakes was inspired by Spicy Crab Cakes with Shrimp, which I scaled down and modified.
- 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce (about 2 large heads)
- 1⁄2 red bell pepper, cut into small julienne strips (1/4-inch x1-inch)
- 1 small purple onion, cut into thin slices and then quartered
- 1 lb backfin fresh lump crabmeat (I use Phillip's brand pasteurized crab meat) or 1 lb pasteurized crabmeat (I use Phillip's brand pasteurized crab meat)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt or 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup fresh breadcrumb (not dried crumbs)
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
- 4 teaspoons finely minced celery
- 4 tablespoons finely minced yellow onions
- 4 teaspoons prepared horseradish (from jar)
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise (Hellman's)
- 1 eggs or 1⁄4 cup liquid egg substitute
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- canola oil, as needed (for frying)
TO BREAD CRAB CAKES
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup cornmeal
- 4 -8 ounces caesar salad dressing (Cardini, Girard's, or Ken's brands)
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese (Reggiano is best)
- 72 seasoned croutons (I use Drew's Spicy Croutons #54461)
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley or 6 sprigs basil
- SALAD: Toss together shredded romaine, purple onion, and julienned red bell pepper.
- Refrigerate until serving time.
- CRAB CAKES: In large bowl, mix salt, Old Bay Seasoning, cayenne pepper, 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, dijon mustard, celery, bell pepper, onion, horseradish, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and egg.
- Mix well.
- Add crab meat and gently stir, leaving crab in as large a hunks as you can.
- If mixture appears too soft, add the remaining breadcrumbs, and gently stir.
- Mixture should still be somewhat soft but not runny.
- Place 1/4 cup cornmeal on large cookie sheet, scattering to form a thin coating over entire surface.
- Set aside.
- Place 1/4 cornmeal on salad-sized plate.
- With a tablespoon measure, scoop crab mixture and gently place on cornmeal.
- Shape into a 2-inch patty, pressing any stray crab mixture around edges to form a round patty.
- Gently turn crab cake over to get cornmeal on second side.
- Place crab cakes on large, cornmeal-coated cookie sheet.
- Repeat process until all crab cakes are made (about 30-32), adding more cornmeal to small plate, if needed.
- Cover crab cakes with plastic wrap and refrigerate, to chill- 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
- TO COOK CRAB CAKES: In large skillet, add canola oil to depth of 1/4-inch.
- Heat on medium-high heat until hot.
- Add crab cakes (do not crowd), and cook until browned, turn over and cook on second side until browned.
- Total cooking time should be about 4-5 minutes.
- Add more oil to pan, as needed.
- Repeat until all crab cakes are browned on both sides.
- PRESENTATION: On each plate, place 1/6 of shredded lettuce mixture.
- Top salad with 5 hot crab cakes, placing one in the center.
- Immediately sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over warm crab cakes.
- Place 12 croutons around outer edge of lettuce.
- Drizzle Caesar Salad dressing in a spiral over crab cakes and salad.
- Garnish center crab cake with parsley or basil.
- TO SERVE CRAB CAKES LATER: Place cooled crab cakes in covered flat-bottomed dish, separating each layer with waxed paper.
- Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
- To reheat, place crab cakes in toaster over and toast just until hot.
- Or place in single layer on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 425 degree oven until hot- about 3-4 minutes.
- Do not let them dry out!