I was introduced to crab cakes on my first trip to the Chesapeake Bay area, and I have loved them ever since. The trouble is I don’t find fresh crab meat very often in my local market and even though crab cakes can be made with canned crab meat I prefer fresh—the pieces of crab are bigger.
I asked my husband to stop at a shoreline fish market to purchase some lobster one day after work, and he did; but he also brought home two large crab legs with the request that I make crab cakes. I promised him I would if he would crack them and extract the meat. HA! (The cook has to protect her hands.)
OK, now the search begins. What recipe should I use? Things I considered in the search: we don’t like red or green pepper in our crab cakes, so eliminate any recipes with those in it. The mixture is flaky and hard to hold together, so I wanted something with moisture to help bind it together. Yeah, eggs do that, but wait, here’s one that uses zucchini as part of the mixture. Wow, moisture, binding power, and a vegetable to take the place of peppers. This is it! Usually I can read a recipe and know if it will work and taste good. My instincts didn’t fail me on this one.
ZUCCHINI CRAB CAKES
SERVINGS: makes 8 crab cakes.
- 2-3 teaspoons cooking oil
- 1 cup coarsely shredded zucchini
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 -1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
- 8 ounces fresh cooked crabmeat (about 1 1/2 cups) Purchase about 1 1/4 pounds crab legs to get 8 ounces of meat. Canned crab meat works, too.
- cooking spray
1. In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons cooking oil. Cook and stir the zucchini and green onions about 3 minutes or until tender and the liquid is evaporated. Cool slightly.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the beaten egg, bread crumbs, mustard, thyme, and, if desired, the red pepper. Add the zucchini mixture and crabmeat; mix well.
3. Using a 1/4 cup measure for each crab cake, scoop out and shape into 8 patties about 1/2 inch thick. Spray each patty with cooking spray.
4. Using the large skillet previously used lightly spray it with cooking spray, and reheat it. Place the crab cakes sprayed side down in the pan, and cook for about 3 minutes. Spray the uncooked sides and turn over. Cook another 2-3 minutes till nicely browned and crisp.
These were really good. I served them with another vegetable (broccoli ) and a salad consisting of roast golden beets, yellow cherry tomatoes, and baby greens with feta cheese.
SOURCE: Savory Shellfish Recipes of the Shore