Blue crabs are harbingers of summertime along the lower Atlantic and the Gulf coasts of the United States. They are among the prized delicacies of these areas. Serve the cakes with a southwestern slaw of tortillas, jicama and red and yellow bell peppers.

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican-style masa harina
  • 3/4 pound fresh-cooked lump blue crab meat or canned blue crab meat
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup seeded and finely diced fresh poblano chiles
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 fresh cilantro sprigs

directions

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the masa harina on a baking sheet and toast until it turns a nice golden brown and begins to smell of roasted nuts, about 12 minutes. Stir once at about the halfway point to ensure even coloring. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

In a bowl, combine the crab meat, mayonnaise, chili, green onion, lemon juice, cilantro, salt, oregano, ground pepper and cumin. Toss together with a spoon until well-blended and the pieces of crab meat lightly adhere to one another.

Divide the crab mixture into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Flatten each ball into a round cake 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Place the cakes on the toasted masa harina, and turn them to coat evenly on all sides. Using your hands, press in the masa harina until the cakes are evenly but lightly coated and uniformly shaped. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate until needed (or as long as overnight).

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Slip the crab cakes into the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn the crab cakes and continue to cook, reducing the heat slightly to ensure the cakes heat through but do not overbrown, until golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.

TO SERVE:

Transfer the cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly, then place on warmed individual plates. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 780

nutrition information per serving

762 calories; 47g total fat; 102mg cholesterol; 1019mg sodium; 62g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 28g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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