Saturday Summer Dinner – Crispy Panko Crusted Crab Cakes


Some versions of crab cakes are mostly crabmeat lightly bound with egg, but I’m a firm believer that a crab cake should contain bread crumbs.
Chef Tom Douglas

Weekend cooking can be a chore sometimes when it is blazing hot, but tonight’s dinner of crab cakes can be prepared early in the day, refrigerated and sautéed just before serving time.
Tonight’s menu also included an all time favorite recipe from Jacques Pepin, Cherry Tomato Gratin and of course a simple tartar sauce for Michael’s crab cakes…me, simply fresh squeezed lemon.

PhotoScapeXMix 4-5 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 small red onion, minced
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons capers, rough chopped
1/2 small dill pickle, chopped
squeeze of lemon and a little grated zest

Panko Crusted Crab Cakes-makes 8-10 crab cakes

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Phillips Seafood Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 heaping tablespoon Duke’s mayo
1-1 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and a little grated zest
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons melted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
1 pound crab meat, 1/2 lump and 1/2 special
1/4 cup panko crumbsHave ready 1 cup panko crumbs on a large plate to lightly coat the crab cakes

Blend the first 10 ingredients thoroughly and then gently blend in the crab meat and 1/4 cup panko crumbs.  I used a 2 inch scoop to get equal sized cakes.   Put the crab cake on the panko crumbs on the plane and gently coat and pat the crumbs  and flatten slightly.   Refrigerate crab cakes for several hours before sautéing.   Sauté in 1/4 cup EVOO and vegetable oils until both sides are golden.

PhotoScapeXBefore baking

Garlicky Tomato Gratin-adapted from Jacques Pepin
One 5-ounce piece of day-old French baguette with crust, cut into 1-inch cubes (5 cups)
1 1/2 pounds small cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly oil a 10-inch ceramic quiche dish. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano and salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into the baking dish and bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the bread cubes are browned and crisp and the tomatoes are very tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.