This recipe for Crab Cakes with Piquillo Pepper Aioli shows you how to make a simple, and delicious crab cake using fresh or quality canned crab meat.
The making of Crab Cakes with Piquillo Pepper Aioli
Fresh is always best. And for me, the best of the best is Dungeness crab. But Dungeness Crab is seasonal, so when not in season, high-quality canned crab meat to the rescue.
When buying canned crab, be sure to buy a good quality crab from the refrigerated section of your supermarket, not the crap crab they sell on the shelves..
It was another, "I don't feel like going to the grocery store, what's in the pantry" type of day. So I looked in the refrigerator and thought, I'd make some delicious Crab Cakes with Piquillo Pepper Aioli with some canned lump-meat crab I had in the fridge.
So crabby good.
If you don't happen to have a can of quality crab in your refrigerator, then go to the store, get some and make these. When buying canned crab, be sure to buy a good quality crab from the refrigerated section of your supermarket, not the crap crab they sell on the shelves.
What is Piquillo Pepper?
A piquillo pepper is a small, sweet pepper that has no heat. Popular in Spain, you can find them peeled and marinated in jars here in the states. They are milder than roasted red bells, and as I said, they have no heat. Just really nice pepper flavor, almost like pimento. You could use roasted red bells in its place but the flavor won't be as mild.
Making the Crab Cakes
When mixing the crab cake ingredients, use a light hand so as not to break all of the chunks of crab up. You want some nice large crabby pieces. After forming and coating with panko (the panko gives you a really nice outside crust), I put them on a sheet pan with a wire rack and refrigerate them for about an hour. This allows all the ingredients in the crab cake to firm up making them easier to cook and flip.
When cooking the crab cake, let them fully brown on one side then carefully turn and brown the other side. Do not turn them more than once or you stand a chance of having crab cake scramble.
Crab Cakes, for dinner and beyond!
While I made these for dinner, they would also be an excellent appetizer or first course. Just make them smaller..
Crab Cakes With Piquillo Pepper Aioli
- 1 pound fresh or lump meat crab double-checked for shells
- 3 roasted piquillo peppers fine dice (or you could use roasted red peppers)
- 3 green onions white and green part, fine dice
- ½ jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1 tender stalk celery finely diced (use an inside stalk)
- ¼ cup finely chopped Italian leaf parsley
- ½ cup mayonnaise I use Best Foods - Hellman's for you east coasters reduced fat
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seafood seasoning
- 1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs about
- Neutral oil for frying I use grapeseed oil
- For the Aioli
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise same as above
- 3 piquillo peppers diced (or same as above)
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Put the crab in a large bowl. Add the chopped vegetables and mix lightly to distribute. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire and old bay, mix to combine (use a light hand so the crab stays in nice pieces); add about ½ cup of the panko and mix. The mixture should just hold together. Using a ⅓ cup measure, make patties, pressing lightly to make sure they hold and then turn them in the remaining panko crumbs to cover. Place on a sheet pan and refrigerate for about an hour.
- While the crab cakes are "resting" make the aioli. In a small blender, food processor, or other whirling around thing, place all the aioli ingredients and pulse until mostly smooth but still with some texture.
- Heat neutral oil in a frying pan to a depth of about ¼ inch. Add the crab cakes and cook until browned on one side, turn carefully and cook the other side until browned, crisp and hot throughout. Serve with aioli.