Crab cake 'n bake
By Kelli Bamforth
It was only a matter of time until I experienced my first epic disaster in the kitchen. However, it was especially disappointing that this failure occurred with my first attempt at crab cakes. I was so looking forward to this meal!
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. First I should tell you I’m a Jersey girl, born and raised. (And no, not the kind of Jersey girl you see on Jersey Shore. Don’t even get me started on that show.) Growing up on the East Coast came with a number of advantages, not the least of which was access to fresh, yummy seafood any day of the week. And when I say fresh, I mean you can literally watch boats deliver their catch of the day as you sit on the restaurant’s patio. There’s nothing like smelling fresh, salty air and putting your toes in the sand after an incredible meal of crabs. But I digress.
After a recent trip to Red Lobster for dinner, during which I sampled their crab cake appetizer, I thought I’d search online for a recipe to make some at home. I found a couple options and after reading reviews, I decided to use the recipes as a loose guide and instead concoct my own crab cake creation. That was my first mistake: not choosing one recipe and following it exactly.
The crab cake mixture didn’t hold up very well and would not form into patties no matter what I did. I decided to improvise and make it into a crab cake casserole dish. What resulted was edible, sure, but lacked any real flavor. The only positive was the nice crunch.
There are a number of things I’d do differently next time, if my ego can ever recover from my crushing blow of crab cake failure. Anyone with more experience in the kitchen than I would probably have known that:
* The lump crabmeat needs to be in much smaller pieces (almost flakes).
* The roasted red peppers need to be diced smaller, and there needs to be more of them.
* You should decrease the amount of bread crumbs, and increase the amount of fat-free Miracle Whip and Dijon mustard to help the mixture bind together better.
At the end of the day, I learned from the experience and have moved on. Well, sort of. Anyway, here’s the recipe that ended in disaster. Caution: do not try this at home without incorporating the above tips!
1 lb of fresh, lump crabmeat
¼ cup roasted red peppers, water-packed, diced
2 tbsp fat-free Miracle Whip
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup egg beaters or egg whites
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients except crabmeat in a large bowl. Mix well and carefully fold in crabmeat, careful not to break the lumps. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes prior to molding into six equal-size crab cakes and placing them on the large baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 400°. Bake for eight to 10 minutes on each side until browned and firm to the touch. Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa and your choice of sauce.