Caesar Salad With Mini Crab Cakes



  • 6
    cups shredded romaine lettuce (about 2 large heads)
  • 12
    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)
  • 14
    teaspoon sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12
    teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 14 - 12
    teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 - 34
    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)
  • 13
    cup mayonnaise (Hellman's)
  • 1
    eggs or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 12
  • canola oil, as needed (for frying)
  • 12 - 34
  • 4 -8
    ounces caesar salad dressing (Cardini, Girard's, or Ken's brands)
  • 1 12
    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!
  • Serve.