Y’all are gonna LOVE this one! I recently helped out my good friend Chef Carolyn Shelton, a southern Louisiana native like me, cater an exclusive dinner party. One of the appetizers that she served was her famous Zydeco Crab Cakes, based on the classic Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) recipe. I had never prepared crab cakes before, so I decided to try a variation of the Zydeco Crab Cake.
I used Chef Carolyn’s recipe, but as always, I had to make it my own. First though, I’d like to share an eHow Food video recently produced by Chef Carolyn demonstrating her technique. The Jumbo Crab Cake is based on her Zydeco Crab Cake recipe:
So here is the recipe that I came up with:
1 lb. white lump crab meat
1/4 cup each chopped orange and yellow bell pepper (use whatever color you like)
1/3 cup chopped green onions (use more for intense onion flavor)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup butter crackers
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1/4 tsp white pepper
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
2 tbsp fresh cream butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup spicy Creole mustard
3/4 cup shredded hickory smoked Swiss & Cheddar cheese (my wildcard ingredient)
Gently mix all the ingredients together by hand, trying not to break the crab meat up too much. Some cooks will sauté the veggies first, but I add mine fresh for texture and more flavor.
Shape crab cakes, place on wax paper, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Heat the butter and olive oil over medium to med-high heat, and pan fry the crab cakes for about 3-4 minutes on both sides.
Put ‘em on a plate and eat ‘em!
Now I need to explain a couple of things about my recipe. First, it is not common or traditional to add cheese to crab cakes. I just wanted to experiment. I used a rather mild cheese, and the flavor was not as strong as I would have liked it to be. If I add cheese to this recipe in the future, I will get a much stronger cheese.
Also, because cheese melts and gets gooey I used both bread crumbs and butter crackers to make sure that they held together when cooking. You also might have noticed that I didn’t use flour to coat them. You can do so if that is your preference.
Last, if this is your first time preparing crab cakes, I suggest that you leave out the cheese. It can be tricky to keep it from overcooking.
As always, I encourage y’all to take this recipe and make it your own…have fun with it!