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Categories: Appetizers, Fish and shellfish, Main courses

Dungeness crab cakes with tarragon aioli

Dungeness crab cakes with tarragon aioli
Los Angeles Times

The 100-year-old white clapboard walls of the Portuguese Assn. Crown Hall seem almost to bulge outward, swelling with the sheer joy inside on this late January evening. A couple of hundred happy eaters are packed around long trestle tables laid ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 6
Note: This recipe is adapted from one by chef Nicholas Petti at Fort Bragg's Mendo Bistro. It won the annual Mendocino crab cake cook-off so many times that it is now retired. Petti serves this with a simple tart cabbage slaw.
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup very hot water
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tarragon
  • 1 1/2 pounds Dungeness crabmeat
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus about 1/2 cup for coating
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Oil for frying

Step 1Make the aioli by processing the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, one-half teaspoon salt and Tabasco sauce in a food processor or blender until thoroughly mixed. Add the water and process 15 seconds. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture comes together and thickens. Transfer it to a bowl and stir in the tarragon. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Step 2To make the crab cakes, combine the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, green onions and one-half cup of the aioli. The mixture should hold together. If it doesn't, add a little more aioli. Season with salt to taste.

Step 3Form the mixture into 6 (3-inch) cakes. Sprinkle some more breadcrumbs on a plate and dip one side of each crab cake in the crumbs.

Step 4Using a skillet big enough to hold the cakes comfortably (or cook the cakes in batches), heat the oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the crab cakes, crumb side down, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the cakes, reduce the heat slightly and cook until golden brown and heated through, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve with the remaining tarragon aioli on the side.

Each serving:
961 calories; 28 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 89 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 157 mg. cholesterol; 655 mg. sodium.
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