Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Gulf Coast Crab Cakes

Gulf Coast Crab Cakes

Delicate morsels of crab dance playfully with a tasty and colorful collection of vegetables and herbs, enveloped in a blanket of a rich, creamy mustard sauce.

These tender little cakes are chock full of color and flavor with sweet onion, scallions, red and yellow bell peppers plus a touch of garlic along with fresh parsley and basil.

A decadent sauce – made from heavy cream and tangy Dijon mustard – creates a balance so wonderful no drizzle of sauce over the top is really necessary when serving.

Emily shared this recipe with me a few months ago. We were busy prepping meals while she was getting ready to go back to work after the birth of our sweet grandson. The beauty of this recipe, it allows you to fully assemble the crab cakes and freeze them for later. When you’re ready to dish them up, simply pull the amount you want to cook from the freezer, give them a quick sauté and you’re all set!

The roots of this recipe are said to have originated from a popular Gulf Coast establishment, the Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Florida. Sadly, the establishment burned down earlier this year but according to their website plans are underway to rebuild. Copies of this recipe have been widely shared and after one bite you’ll understand why.

If you don’t live on the beach, not to fret – crabmeat is available packed and sealed in most seafood markets and can also be purchased online. You can use lump crabmeat or jumbo lump crab, which is a bit more expensive but gives you large chunks of crab in every bite. I use a mix of both with great results.

Just be gentle when you’re blending the crab into the sauce, taking care to not break up the shellfish.

Chop, sauté, stir, scoop and pat. Meal prep can be so rewarding. And this is one fabulous dish to add to your summer menus!

Gulf Coast Crab Cakes

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup small diced sweet onion, about 1 small onion

1 cup thinly sliced scallions, about 4 scallions

½ cup small diced red bell pepper, about ½ pepper

½ cup small diced yellow bell pepper, about ½ pepper

½ teaspoon minced garlic, 1 clove

½ cup fresh chopped parsley

½ cup fresh chopped basil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

½ tablespoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons flour, plus ½ cup for dusting – optional

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup good Dijon mustard, such as Maille

1 cup plain breadcrumbs

1-1/2 pounds lump crabmeat, drained and sorted for any shell pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet onion, scallions and both red and yellow bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent and all the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes.

Toss in the remaining tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted add the 3 tablespoons of flour, stirring into the vegetables and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low then stir in the cream and the mustard.

Toss in the chopped parsley, basil, garlic powder, thyme, kosher salt and pepper.

Continue cooking, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened – about 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. When the sauce has cooled, pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and mix together.

Gently fold the crab into the sauce and breadcrumbs. The mixture should hold together but if it feels too wet just add more breadcrumbs, about 2 tablespoons at a time.

Using a large ice-cream scoop or spoon, scoop out small portions of the crab cake mixture, each about 3-ounces. Place the rounds onto rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment or wax paper, patting each into a small cake about ½” thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. You can also pop the pan with the crab cakes into the freezer. Once the crab cakes are frozen, place parchment paper between each one and store in a freezer bag or container.

When you’re ready to cook the crab cakes, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. If you’re pulling them from the freezer, let them set out for about 15 minutes before cooking to thaw slightly.

If you want the extra flour breading on the outside, place the additional ½ cup flour into a shallow pan.

When the oil is hot, dredge the crab cakes in the flour and place them into the hot pan. Cook on each side until golden brown. The crab cakes can also be cooked without the flour breading.

Makes about 18 crab cakes.

Gulf Coast Crab Cakes, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

June 10, 2019
: Makes about 18 crab cakes

Delicate morsels of crab dance playfully with a tasty and colorful collection of vegetables and herbs, enveloped in a blanket of a rich, creamy mustard sauce.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 cup small diced sweet onion, about 1 small onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions, about 4 scallions
  • ½ cup small diced red bell pepper, about ½ pepper
  • ½ cup small diced yellow bell pepper, about ½ pepper
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic, 1 clove
  • ½ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour, plus ½ cup for dusting – optional
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup good Dijon mustard, such as Maille
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1-1/2 pounds lump crabmeat, drained and sorted for any shell pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet onion, scallions and both red and yellow bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent and all the vegetables are tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Step 2 Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Step 3 Toss in the remaining tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted add the 3 tablespoons of flour, stirring into the vegetables and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 4 Reduce the heat to medium-low then stir in the cream and the mustard. Toss in the chopped parsley, basil, garlic powder, thyme, kosher salt and pepper.
  • Step 5 Continue cooking, stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened – about 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Step 6 When the sauce has cooled, pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and mix together.
  • Step 7 Gently fold the crab into the sauce and breadcrumbs. The mixture should hold together but if it feels too wet just add more breadcrumbs, about 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Step 8 Using a large ice-cream scoop or spoon, scoop out small portions of the crab cake mixture, each about 3-ounces. Place the rounds onto rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment or wax paper, patting each into a small cake about ½” thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. You can also pop the pan with the crab cakes into the freezer. Once the crab cakes are frozen, place parchment paper between each one and store in a freezer bag or container.
  • Step 9 When you’re ready to cook the crab cakes, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. If you’re pulling them from the freezer, let them set out for about 15 minutes before cooking to thaw slightly.
  • Step 10 If you want the extra flour breading on the outside, place the additional ½ cup flour into a shallow pan. When the oil is hot, dredge the crab cakes in the flour and place them into the hot pan. Cook on each side until golden brown. The crab cakes can also be cooked without the flour breading.

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