Thursday, January 10, 2008

Crab Cakes

This was one of the very first dishes Deb made on her own. Inspired by a photo in an old Weight Watcher's cookbook, and in a bizarre phase where she coated all of her main dish meat with crushed corn flakes, this is the best of the Deb's early years -- trust her. Not-so-good contributions from this same time period include a freakishly salthy onion beef stew in the crock pot which screwed up the Deb and her husband's tastebuds for a solid week.

Anyway. I've never served this dish to anyone who remotely likes seafood and had them either a) dislike it or b) guess that it's low calorie. The secret is getting a good quality crab meat. Wait until your local grocery store has special pricing on crab. Be sure to get only Jumbo Lump. It really makes a difference in how well the cakes hold up while cooking!

Calorie-Friendly Crab Cakes
You'll need:

1 lemon
1 lb. Jumbo Lump Crab meat, picked over (if you get the meat fresh, vs. from a can, the easy way to get the shell bits out is to spread the crab in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 for about 5 -- 10 minutes. It'll make the shell bits super easy to see and get rid of)
3 finely chopped scallions
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 C. reduced calorie Mayo
3 drops tobasco sauce (optional)
1 T. Old Bay
1 t. dill
3 T. plain breadcrumbs
1 C. crushed corn flakes
2 T. canola oil

Grate about 1 T. of lemon zest off your lemon (only the yellow! Don't get down to the pith -- it's bitter as gall) and then squeeze said lemon into one big bowl. Add crabmeat, scallions, mustard, mayo, tobasco, Old Bay, dill, and breadcrumbs. Combine well and divide into 8 little crab balls. Shape each ball into a patty (be gentle but firm) and coat through corn flake crumbs. Cover your plate of crab cakes with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge to let get comfortable with their new condition for 15 minutes. This will really help when you get them in the hot pan -- they won't fall apart easily.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high and let it get good and hot. Then add in your crab cakes and cook about 7 minutes per side. The corn flakes should get nice and golden brown.

These are stupidly delicious and just the right texture for crabcakes. Not too crunchy, not too mushy. They pair well with brown rice and a simple spinach salad or any side vegetable. Only 6 WW points per cake, and about 300 calories.


Listy-loo said...

Thanks for the useful hint about the crab shells. I am going to try that!

The Dainty Deb said...

You know, I learned that trick from a Pat Conroy book. He mentioned it while describing a character cooking and I tried it to success! See, literature IS good for us! :)