This simple crab cake recipe with aioli is one that you should keep in your arsenal as a way to wow your guests. Crab cakes look impressive, but are super easy. This New Year's Eve would be the perfect time to serve them as hors d'oeuvres because crabs are in season (see my last post about our crab boil). But really, I could eat them anytime.
You could buy your crab live, steam it, and shell it yourself. However, if you're like me you might find it hard to shell a crab without having a few bites until you realize half of your crab meat is gone. Then you should buy already shelled, lump crab meat.
1 cup of Dungeness crab meat, or 8 oz. fresh, store-bought lump crab meat
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (you can buy this or make it yourself - stale bread, toasted, then ground and seasoned with dry herbs of your liking)
3 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs dijon mustard
2 tsp hot sauce, or more to your taste
2 Tbs olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced into a paste
1 pinch of salt
3 Tbs mayonnaise
half the juice of a small lemon
Whisk all the ingredients for the aioli sauce. To get your garlic into a paste, mince it, sprinkle salt onto it, then scrape it on the board with your knife into a paste. Keep the sauce in the fridge until it is ready to be used.
If you cooked your live crab, using your best crab meat picking skills, separate the meat from the shell of the cooked crab. Just use the white meat of the crab. Make sure there are no broken shell bits in the crab meat. Combine the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, and egg together with the crab meat in a bowl. You want a consistency that is sticky enough to hold together when you make a ball in your hand. If it is too dry, add mayonnaise. If it is too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
Roll small balls of batter into your hands to make 1 1/2 inch diameter circles and slightly flatten them out. This makes about 12 cakes.
Heat the olive oil under medium heat. Fry the crab cakes for 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.
Serve the crab cakes with the side of aioli.
The only really difficult portion of this recipe is picking the meat out of the crab, even for a seasoned crab meat picker like me, so if you can buy it already shelled.
I can imagine this being delicious hangover food New Year's morning with an egg on top (if there are any left for the next morning). What are your plans for the New Year?