Makes About 12 Medium Sized Crab Cakes
1 Large Leek, Washed and Finely Chopped, white and light green parts.
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
1/3 Cup Finely Minced Celery
½ Cup Fresh Mint, Finely Chopped
½ Cup Fresh Dill, Finely Chopped
1 ½ Teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 ½ Teaspoons Garlic Powder
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ Teaspoon White Pepper
Zest and Juice of 1 Large Lemon
2/3 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 Egg Beaten
1 Pound Crab Meat (Usually 1 Can)
2 ½ Cups Panko Breadcrumbs (Divided – 1 ½ Cups For Crab Mix and 1 Cup For Coating Cakes)
½ Stick of Unsalted Butter
Grape Seed Oil
Cooking Spray (If you choose to bake them)
2 Lemons Cut into wedges for garnish
Slice Leek down the center, soak in water to release any grit. Rinse well. Slice each half into three long strips and then chop. Repeat with the remaining leek half. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and sprinkle with salt. Sweat the leeks out until the become soft and translucent. When they have reached perfection remove from heat and cool to room temp. You can speed the cooling process up by putting them in the fridge for 10 minutes or so.
In a bowl combine Celery, Mint, Dill, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Salt, White Pepper, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Yogurt and Beaten Egg.
Empty the contents of the crab onto a flat surface – I like to place a piece of parchment or plastic wrap over a cutting board and dump the contents on that, it allows for easier cleanup. Gently pick through the crab meat to make sure that there are no shells. This is a quick process, you don’t need to dig too hard and you don’t want to separate the crab chunks too much. Pick up the parchment or plastic wrap and carefully pour the crab into the wet seasoning mixture. Add the breadcrumbs and sautéed leeks and gently fold the ingredients all together.
Pour the remaining breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet. Using a soup spoon take about 2 spoonfuls of mixture into your hand and form into a patty. Place patty on breadcrumb bed and press the patty into the breadcrumbs, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top as well, so top and bottom are coated. Place prepared crab cake on baking sheet. Repeat the process with all of the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least and hour or up to one day in advance. The longer the sit the more the flavors will meld and the stronger the cakes will be.
Cooking The Crab Cakes – Method #1 – Pan Frying
In a large skillet, non-stick if you like, Heat 1 Tablespoon of Grape Seed Oil of medium heat. Once it is glistening drop in 1 tablespoon of butter, as soon as the butter has melted in place the crab cakes in the skillet. Only put 3 – 4 in depending on the size of your skillet. You don’t want to over crowd the cakes, it will make it harder to flip them.
After about 3 to 4 minutes, flip the cakes, the should be nice and golden on the first side. Cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
Place the cakes on a plate with a towel to soak up the oil. Repeat the frying process with the remaining cakes until there are none left. Add more oil and butter each time to keep the pan nice and slick for frying!
Put fried crab cakes in the oven at 250 degrees to keep warm until ready to serve.
Cooking The Crab Cakes – Method #2 – Baking
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Place cakes on a baking sheet and spray the tops with cooking spray.
Place Baking Sheet in the center of the oven.
Bake for 15 Minutes. Take out and flip the cakes. Spray the bottom with cooking spray and bake for another 5 minutes, until the bottom side is nice and light brown too.
Serving The Crab Cakes
Place 2 or 3 Crab Cakes on top of the Shaved Fennel, Zucchini and Carrot Salad (see recipe), place a lemon wedge or two on the place to squeeze onto the crab cake and serve with a bowl of tzatziki (see recipe) sauce on the side.
Take Pita Pockets and stuff with the Shaved Fennel, Zucchini and Carrot Salad, Tzatziki and Crab Cakes for a Greek Style Pita Pocket!
You can make these crab cakes really small and serve them as a party appetizer as well. In this case squeeze the lemon juice on the just before serving and skip the salad, just serve with a bowl of tztziki or garlicy aioli.