Binder method adapted from ATK
- 1/3 cup fresh corn
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet bell pepper (I used an Aloha pepper, you can use red, orange, or yellow)
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped (I used red onion, white or yellow is fine)
- 2 tablespoons parsley, torn
- 2 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 5 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined (use a cheaper shrimp for this)
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- pinch of Cayenne pepper, black pepper, and kosher salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound (16 ounces) jumbo lump crab neat (you can use regular lump), picked over for shells
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pulse celery, onion, and garlic in food processor until finely chopped, 5 to 8 pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Rinse processor bowl and blade and reserve. Melt butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add chopped vegetables, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and all moisture has evaporated, 4 to 6 minutes. Return vegetables to large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Rinse out pan and wipe clean
- In a food processor, pulse the onion, celery, sweet pepper, corn, garlic, and parsley until finely chopped. Scrape down your bowl as necessary.
- In a skillet, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the veggie mixture until softened and lightly caramelized, and the liquid has evaporated. The mixture should be dry and sticking to the pan just slightly. Set aside in a large bowl to cool.
- Wipe out the skillet, and place a half cup of panko bread crumbs over medium heat. Don’t add any fat to this, just toast the dry bread crumbs until lightly golden brown. Continuously stir so each crumb gets color. This will take just a few minutes. Alternatively, you can toast these in a preheated 375 degree oven for 2 minutes (keep an eye on them!).
- Rinse out the bowl of your food processor, add the shrimp and cream, and pulse until it forms a paste. Scrape it out and add it to the veggies. Add the Worcestershire, dijon mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Fold to thoroughly combine.
- Drain your crab meat into a colander. Pick thru for any shells, and remove if you find some. Try not to pulverize your precious crab meat! Add the crab meat to the veggie/shrimp mixture (SEE NOTE BELOW). Gently, and I mean GENTLY fold this mixture together. Yes, some lumps will fall apart, and there’s nothing you can do about that, but TRY not to tear them all apart. It’s a good textural contrast to have some broken lumps against some whole lumps. Just don’t have it looking like canned tuna.
- Scoop out some cakes. For 6 cakes, use a half cup scoop. For 8 cakes, use a 1/3 cup scoop. You can leave them dome-shaped, or flatten them into a hockey-puck shape if you’d like — there’s no wrong way. Place each cake onto a sheet pan or large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for a good hour. After an hour, the cakes should be a little easier to pick up without tearing apart (I used food-grade safety cloves to pick mine up). Arrange a layer of the toasted bread crumbs on a plate, and gently press the bottom of each cake into the crumbs. Don’t apply too much pressure here. They will still be moist, and should be able to pick up the crumbs on their own. Just make sure there’s a nice protective layer of crumbs at the bottom of each cake. When all of the cakes are coated at the bottom, heat your skillet to medium-high. Add about a tablespoon or so of oil to the bottom. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the crab cakes. Let them fry at the bottom for just 1 minute, then place the skillet in the oven about 6-8 inches from the top of the pre-heated broiler. Broil the cakes until the centers register 140 degrees and the tops are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with lemon wedges, and any other accompaniment you’d like. Enjoy!
Your veggie/shrimp mixture should only be 1 full cup. If you have more than that, don’t add it to the crab meat or you’ll find the mixture too wet and difficult to work with. Save it for another use.