We could give you a sure re recipe for crab cakes. (In fact, we do: see the variation below.) But we found that incorporating shrimp into a crab cake does nothing to diminish the rich flavor of the crab and adds excellent texture to boot. It also doesn’t hurt that, on the whole, shrimp are a heck of a lot more affordable than Dungeness crabs, giving you more value for your money. Serve with a tartar or even an Asian-inspired sauce; place on a split english muffin and drizzle with hollandaise for brunch; or make tiny cakes and set them out as appetizers. no matter how you serve them, these cakes are winners.
unsalted butter and extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 shallot, minced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, diced (optional), or 1⁄2 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into small dice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
Zest of 1⁄2 lemon, plus juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
6 ounces Dungeness crabmeat, picked
11⁄2 cups fresh bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan, over medium- high heat. Add the shallot, celery, chiles, and thyme and sauté until the vegetables are limp but not brown. Add the shrimp and sauté until just cooked through. Transfer to a glass bowl and allow to cool slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
In the bowl with the cooled shrimp mixture, combine the lemon zest, juice, parsley, chives and dill and mix well. Add the mayonnaise, crabmeat, and bread crumbs. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the eggs and mix gently to combine, making sure not to break up the crabmeat too much. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3.
Divide the mixture into 12 portions and pat into cakes about 3 inches in diameter. Mix our with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl, then dredge the cakes on both sides. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add equal amounts of butter and olive oil. Fry the shrimp and crab cakes until golden brown and heated through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
VariatIon: If you want to go the traditional route, omit the shrimp and increase the crabmeat to a scant 3⁄4 pound (meat from about the 1-1⁄2 Dungeness crabs). Decrease the mayonnaise to 2 tablespoons.
From In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys by The Crew of Pike Place Fish, © 2013 Viking Studio