March 29, 2013

Crab Cakes with Chimichurri

Crab Cakes with Chimichurri Sauce


It's been a stinky couple of days in our house lately.  No, not because of the crab cakes pictured above!  Our little pup, Scruffy, got sprayed by a skunk in the back yard!  We heard the commotion outside and quickly called him in, but it wasn't until he ran inside and started rubbing his face all over our dining room rug did we notice the two yellow spots on him.  The smell was soon to hit us a few seconds later... He was pretty traumatized, we all were, and our house smelled awful!  We quickly got him into the bath, opened all of our windows and googled how to cure the smell. 

We had two choices... tomato juice or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap.  The only tomato juice I had was a couple cans of expensive San Marzano tomatoes... so, sorry Scruff, the peroxide mixture it was!  We rinsed him in the mixture twice and bathed him in his regular shampoo about 5 times.  Poor thing already does not like the bath and he was in there for about an hour that night! After his bath, he recovered by curling up under his favorite blankey and just looking at us with sad eyes for the rest of the night.  The baths got most of the smell off of him, but it still lingers even a few days later. 

sprayed by a skunk

The house has had a lingering smell as well, but lucky enough, by the time I made these crab cakes for dinner two days later, the smell had pretty much dissipated.  The lovely smell of crab cakes replaced it!

crab cake mix

I know there are those crab cake purists out there that don't like to put anything in their cakes except crab and some binders, but that is not me!  I love fresh herbs, onion, garlic, and sometimes even some fresh corn in my crab cakes. 

crab cake

My crab cake recipe has pretty much stayed the same the last few years, but I usually switch it up with what I put on top.  Remoulade, corn salsa, spicy aioli, anything goes.  This time I felt like trying something brand new.  I had never made chimichurri sauce before,  but I'm glad I finally did. This recipe had the perfect balance of bright, fresh flavors. I can only imagine the possibilities of things I can dip into it or things I can smother in this sauce, it is sooo good! 


These cakes can be served as a main course, appetizer, or side dish... breakfast, lunch or dinner.  We had a light meal with the crab cakes, chimichurri sauce and sliced avocado.  A very green dinner, I must say!  Even leftovers would make an awesome sandwich or Crab Cake Benedict the next day!  When summer comes around, and when fresh crab is more available, I think these will find themselves on our regular meal rotation. 

Crab Cakes

Makes 8 crab cakes

12 oz crab meat
1/4 cup real mayonnaise
1 egg
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs, divided
1/4 red onion diced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
zest of one lemon, keep the lemon for squeezing later
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil

In a bowl combine the crab meat, mayo, egg, onion, parsley, garlic and 1/4 cup Panko.
Season with Old Bay, salt, pepper and cayenne, to taste.  Mixture should be wet enough so that you can create patties without it falling apart.  If needed, add a little more mayo.  Or do like I did and add a spoonful of chimichurri sauce (recipe below).

Form the mixture into small cakes and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Small cakes are easier to flip in the pan and will hold together much better. 

To create breadcrumb coating mix together remaining 1/2 cup of Panko, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.  Press each crab cake into the breadcrumb mix on each side.

Heat some olive oil in a pan over med-high heat.  Place crab cakes into pan in small batches as to not over crowd and to make them easier to flip.  Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until breadcrumb coating is nice and golden brown.  I kept mine on a plate in a warm oven until I was done with both batches and ready to serve. 

Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the top. 

Chimichurri Sauce

Adapted from Kitchen Confidante

3 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro
1 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped.  You can make this a day or two in advance and store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. 


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