Yes. I am aware it is Thursday. However, based on some urging from the Gluten-Free Resource Directory as well as all of the love these crab cakes received from many of you on their Facebook page, I’m going to share this recipe a day early. That way you can prep and have it ready to go in time for the Super Bowl on Sunday, if you like. It’s the perfect appetizer and I have to say, after being gluten-free for a while, a good crab cake is something I’ve been missing. This one was so good!
We were sautéing, pan frying and deep frying in culinary school this week. After reviewing all of the recipes we were going to make, I pretty much assumed I would not be able to taste anything. There was a ton of flour, breadcrumbs and even beer-batter (double-gluten!) in almost all of them. Combine that with a lot of people cooking in the kitchen at the same time and you pretty much have a recipe for disaster as it relates to being a celiac. Well, it was the exact opposite. I brought in my gluten-free flour blend, Aleias gluten-free breadcrumbs, panko and Redbridge Beer. Chef Ted Siegel, our instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, allowed me to work with those ingredients and even set up a special fry station for me. Isn’t that amazing? I could have just hugged him! But, I didn’t because, while he is no Gordon Ramsey, I’m still a little scared. Just kidding (kind of)! Besides being so accommodating, he is an amazing chef and I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to learn the craft from him. Oh and look at the station he set up for me! How awesome is that?
Hands down, my favorite recipe this week was the pan fried Crab Cakes with Avocado Sauce. Using Aleias gluten free italian seasoned breadcrumbs inside the crab meat mixture and then rolling it in their sea salt and pepper panko at the end, yielded an absolutely delicious crab cake. Chef Ted complimented the end flavor and texture as did many of my classmates. Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
On a side note, I want to thank the Gluten-Free Resource Directory for featuring me on their list of bloggers and for helping to connect me with their followers in the gluten-free community. It is an amazing thing to be able to reach so many of you and share my recipes and resources. I’m very appreciative and honored by their support and yours!
- AVOCADO CREAM SAUCE (you can prepare this ahead of time and refrigerate)
- 1 ripe Haas avocado
- 1 lime, juiced
- Tabasco, to taste
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Water, as needed, to thin out sauce
- CRAB CAKES
- 8 oz container or 1 cup Lump Crabmeat, picked free of shells
- ½ Cup Mayonaisse
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 T Cilantro, minced
- 2 T Scallions, minced
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, Minced
- ½ tsp Old Bay Seasoning (or combo of celery salt, red pepper, paprika)
- salt and pepper, to taste (not too much since breadcrumbs and panko are seasoned)
- ½ Cup Aleias italian breadcrumbs*, adjust, as needed
- Aleias sea salt and pepper panko, for dredging (about 1 cup)*
- Canola Oil, for frying
- ½ red pepper, sliced thin for garnish (optional)
- AVOCADO SAUCE
- Puree avocado and lime juice in a blender. Season with tabasco, salt and pepper. Thin with water, as needed (look to achieve the consistency of a light sour cream, as pictured)
- CRAB CAKES
- Combine all ingredients except breadcrumbs and mix together thoroughly.
- Add breadcrumbs ¼ cup at a time to achieve consistency that is not too wet with mayonnaise and not too dried out (you want to easily be able to form cakes with mixture but not have it be too slippery).
- Shape mixture into balls (similar to size of large meatballs) and then pat down to flatten slightly and form cakes.
- Roll cakes in panko on all sides.
- Heat pan on high heat and add enough canola oil to cover about ½ of each crab cake.
- Once oil is heated, reduce to medium and add crab cakes (no more than 3-4 at a time for a regular size saute pan (10-12"). Adjust heat and lower if they seem to be burning too quickly on the outside. You want the crab cakes to brown slowly so they cook through on the inside and have a nice color. Turn over and continue to cook on the other side. You can rotate, as needed to achieve consistent coloring on both sides. Depending on the size of the crab cake, this can take about 4-6 minutes per side.
- Remove from oil. Pat dry on paper towels and serve with avocado cream sauce and sliced red pepper for garnish. Enjoy!
*The Aleias products I used were pre-seasoned so I did not add very much salt or any pepper to the crab cake mix. If you use their unseasoned products or any other brand that is unseasoned, please be sure to add a decent amount of seasoning to achieve a flavorful end product.
**I have listed this recipe as peanut and tree nut-free. Aleias breadcrumbs come with a warning that they are processed in the same facility as peanuts and tree nuts. I believe that is because they produce almond and peanut butter cookies. I called once and was told the equipment was separate for the breadcrumbs and have been using their products in our household with my severely peanut and tree nut allergic children with no issues. However, if you have those allergies, you should contact them to make sure you are comfortable with their practices and any potential cross-contamination issues.