Grilled Asparagus and Crab Cakes with Cilantro Remoulade and Chipotle Mayo

by Jeff Berkowitz on April 2, 2010 · 2 comments

in asparagus,crab,Seafood,Vegetables

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Asparagus screams spring and fresh crab meat will soon be available. My wife and I were looking at the next asparagus post for the week and while browsing through my photos, the crab cakes I made last weekend were just calling to me. I couldn’t wait to post the crab cake but I had another asparagus dish. Then I thought if I only had the crab cakes when I had the asparagus, I would have served them together. So, now they are being served together in this post. At the time, I had put the raspberry vinaigrette on the grilled pencil asparagus not realizing that I would be serving it with the crab cake here in the blogosphere. Needless to say, in RL (real life for those of you who aren’t gamers) I would put a very light vinaigrette or just an excellent quality extra virgin olive oil with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper on the grilled asparagus and serve the crab cakes with the two sauces.

Traditional Maryland crab cakes call for flouring the cakes and pan frying in butter. I’ve done a little twist by using panko for extra crispiness. The panko provides structure to the crab cake so when you flip it the cake doesn’t fall apart or spread out. This crab cake will stay in the disc shape you form. Some people put a lot of bread crumbs in their crab cakes but I like mine to taste like crab not a crab flavored doughy ball. You’ll notice that this recipe produces a crab cake will have a light sweet taste of unadulterated crab. No mustard, no green or red pepper, nothing to cover the flavor of the crab.

Prepare your sauces first and grill the asparagus after you flip the crab cakes.

Cilantro Remoulade

  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup blanched spinach leaves (3x washed)
  • ½ bunch cilantro leaves, washed
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (½ lime)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Purée with a hand blender, in a blender or even a food processor.

Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • 1 Tbsp lime juice (½ lime)
  • 1 7oz. can chipotle in adobo
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

Purée with a hand blender, in a blender or even a food processor.

Crab Cakes:

Makes 4-5 nice sized crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump crab meat
  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices of white bread, crusts trimmed
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onions (green parts only)
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 Tbsp canola or grape seed oil
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Pulse the trimmed bread in a food processor or cut into small cubes with a knife. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the milk and mayonnaise to the egg. Stir to combine and then add the crumbs, stirring to combine. You want the bread crumbs to absorb all of the liquid to make a very loose paste. This paste is called a bread panada. Add the Old Bay, stirring well. Then stir in the parsley and green onion. Put aside.

Gently, inspect your crab meat for bits of shell or cartilage by loosening the lumps of crab meat from each other. Try not to break up the lumps too much. Gently fold all of the crab meat into the panada by using an under over motion with a spatula or your hands. This is called folding. Hands are best so you can tell if you are breaking up the crab too much. You want to keep as many of the lumps intact as possible.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil and the butter. Put the panko on a dish. Divide the crab cake mixture into 4 or 5 cakes of equal portions. You don’t want anyone to feel like they got a smaller crab cake than the person sitting next to them. You can use your hands to form the cakes or use a ½ cup dry measuring cup. (You know, the kind you use to measure flour for baking.) Put the measured crab cake ball into the panko and then carefully turn it over so that panko is on the opposite side. No need to put panko on the sides of the crab cake, just on the top and bottom. Immediately put your crab cake into the skillet and press slightly to form an even disc. Then turn the heat down to low while you repeat with the rest of the crab cakes. Cook the cakes on medium low to medium heat for about 4-5 minutes then turn the cake when the panko is golden brown on the bottom. Cook this side for another 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Your crab cakes are ready to be served.

Grilled asparagus

  • 1 lb pencil thin asparagus
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt or kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Snap off the end of one asparagus spear, line up the rest of your spears at the tips and with a knife cut the ends to make them all the same size. Place the asparagus in a dish, pour the olive oil over them and roll them around to coat thoroughly. Generously salt and pepper the spears. Grill them on an indoor grill pan, or place them on cross-wise on the grate of your outdoor grill over low heat. Asparagus this thin cooks very quickly approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Alternatively, you can place them under a broiler for a 2-3 minutes each side. Watch them carefully so as not to burn them. Serve with a light vinaigrette.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeanne April 5, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Nobody tried this yet? Well, I did and doggone, it’s a terrific crabcake recipe! I’m sure the asparagus is great too, but I was lazy and didn’t fire up the grill, so I just steamed it.
But oh-my-gad….. great recipe. Daughter Abby did the Remoulade… and it was perfect… we had no availability of chipotles w/out traveling too far, so we winged it… now I can’t wait to get some and do it according to the recipe. So instead, we used some Jamaican hot sauce and some coffee spiced smoked barbecue sauce and mixed it with the mao… But it worked… 6 of us ate them and we ate them slow cuz we wanted to prolong the subtle, yet explosive marriage of all the flavors in our mouths. We ate them Friday night and just loved the sauce so much that we made some barbecued skewered shrimp for an appy yesterday and served them with the remoulade… yet another hit! So I’m giving this recipe a 5/5 stars! I got so lost in telling about the sauces that I forgot to mention how delicious the crab cake itself was. I usually do a roux and this was much easier, lighter and worked very well with claw and backfin. Also, the first time I used panko on crabcakes…. worked great. Thanks Jeff!!!!

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2 Jeff Berkowitz April 5, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I am smiling from ear to ear because I know exactly what you’re talking about. When we made the sauces we made extra too and ate them on just about everything. Great job on the improv for the missing chipotle. I take my toque off to you madam.

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