By Bill Daley, Tribune Newspapers
May 4, 2011
What do you do when confronted with a 1-pound can of ready-to-serve claw crab meat sitting in the refrigerator? Admittedly, it's a rare occurrence — at least at my house.
So, I celebrate with a platter of golden, crusty crab cakes for dinner.
I'm in an Indian mood, so I'll spice these cakes up with curry powder and green chili. On the side: mango chutney or cucumber raita in place of the usual tartar sauce; a lime wedge instead of lemon.
This recipe is built on one published a few years back in The Hartford Courant by Linda Giuca, the former food editor, and Christopher Prosperi, owner of Metro Bis restaurant in Simsbury, Conn. Their crab cakes turn out crisp and light, tasting of crab rather than binder.
Keep the sides simple: Steamed basmati rice and a green salad will do.
Tips: No panko? Use regular bread crumbs. A chilled beer, iced tea or an Austrian gruner veltliner wine would all pair well with this dish.
Curried crab cakes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes per batch
Note: You can play with seasonings for the crab cakes. The original recipe called for red onion, celery, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise and Old Bay seasoning.
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 green onions, minced
1 green chili, such as jalapeno, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 piece (1/2-inch long) ginger root, peeled, minced
1 pound claw crab meat
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add curry powder; cook until powder darkens slightly and turns fragrant. Add green onion, chili, garlic and ginger; cook until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Gently mix cooked ingredients, crab, eggs, bread crumbs, pistachios, parsley, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Form mixture into 18 balls; flatten each ball into a cake.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry a few cakes at a time (don't overcrowd the pan), 2 minutes per side. Replenish oil as needed. Keep finished cakes warm while cooking remainder. Serve with chutney on the side.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 323 calories, 50% of calories from fat, 18 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 168 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates.
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