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When I was born we lived in a trailer park called Cadillac Estates that is mostly burned down now.  Today I am a vegetarian living in Los Angeles learning how to love vegetables.  

  • Writer's picture CJ

Crab Cakes

Birthday Crab Cakes

When I was growing up my mom would allow my brother and me to pick what we would have for dinner on our birthdays. As a single mom, she often had to work a lot to keep us afloat. This meant that we had some boxed dinners to get us through those really busy times. One of the dinners in my mom's rotation was Hot Dogs Au Gratin. Oh. My. Gosh did I ever love this when we had it for dinner. What was not to love? Overly salted boxed Au Gratin potatoes, with cut up hot dogs and peas all made in one electric skillet? HEAVEN! My mother was a genius.

I asked for Hot Dogs Au Gratin every year for my birthday. I remember my mom looking at me like THAT is what you want? I was a pretty picky eater growing up. I really didn't like meat starting from a pretty young age. My mom said she would take us to a steak house for a special occasion that I would ask for green beans every single time. I still love green beans! I'm still trying to put together WHY my childhood palette wanted that meal on my Birthday every year, but let's just chalk it up to my love of traditions and call it a day!

In my early 20's I decided to become a vegetarian. In the past couple of years since moving out to California I have been trying to add a little bit of Seafood back into my diet. I manage to try to eat some at least a few times a year. I somehow fell in LOVE with Crab Cakes. So now, on my birthday, I try to have Crab Cakes for dinner and this year I have decided to try to make them myself for the first time ever!

I tried a recipe from a blog I found called the Cozy Apron. I liked her approach because I think panko makes everything better. Also, I LOVE mustard and already had Dijon on hand. Most of the recipes I found called for dried mustard and for some reason I just couldn't get on board. She also uses parsley instead of cilantro, which is a huge win for me as you will find I will almost ALWAYS switch out parsley for cilantro because cilantro is gross. This recipe did not disappoint! Check out her page. She has some delightful tips and tricks listed.

I tried this recipe a couple of times. I used lump crab meat the first time and I liked the flavor better than the second time. However when I didn't spring for the lump crab meat, the cakes held together a lot better.

Happy Birthday to me!!! Yay!


Crab Cake:

1 lb lump crab meat

1 egg, beaten

1/4 heaping cup mayo

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch Black Pepper

Pinch cayenne Pepper

1 tablespoon chives, minced

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

1/2 heaping cup panko breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

Lemon and chives for garnish

Lemon Aioli:

1 cup mayo

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 gloves garlic, minced

pinch cayenne pepper

pinch of black pepper

1 tablespoon chives, chopped


Crab Cakes:

1. Whisk together the egg, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. Gently fold the crab into the wet ingredients to combine. Next add the chives, parsley and the Panko breadcrumbs, and carefully fold ingredients until just combined.

3. Allow the crab cake mixture to chill for at least 1 hour. Then shape into 8 crab cakes by taking 1/3 cup portion and gently pressing it to form a patty shape. I allow the formed cake to sit for 10 minutes before cooking.

4. To fry the crab cakes, add enough oil on medium-high heat to the bottom of the pan to shallow fry the patties. Tip: Allow the pan to heat all of the way through before starting to cook. The oil needs to be hot or you run the risk of overcooking the first batch and having the crab cakes fall apart on you. Fry for about 4-6 minutes per side, or until golden-brown in color. Allow them to crisp before removing. Cook in small batches.

5. Place on paper towel to drain the excess oil and allow to cool slightly before serving.

#crabcake #eastcoast #birthday

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