Monday, July 18, 2011

Crab Cakes (lightened up)

These are my immediate thoughts when someone says crab cakes: my 2004 family trip to Maryland, weddings, Wedding Crashers, and... fried food.

This recipe, however, is figure friendly by replacing the frying method with a nice baked finish. I took the base of the recipe from Skinny Recipes blog and added in a few of my own personal touches, creating a wonderful homemade rendition of this seafood favorite. The use of the Ritz crackers not only provides the bonding adhesive needed to hold together, but as they bake, the crumbs create a crisp layer on top and bottom for a lite "crunch" that one would expect from a crab cake.

I adapted this recipe slightly, preparing the crab meat in my own fashion and using a smaller scoop for the miniature cakes. Serving size is based on 1 patty, in the original recipe using a 1/2 cup measuring cup - so the nutritional facts below apply to two of my crab cakes.

Contains 173.6 calories, 8.8g fat, 13.1g protein, 11.7g carbs, 1.3g fiber.

Grocery List:
  • 8 oz. lump crab meat, already picked free of shells (easy to find at Grocery Store)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime, divided
  • Old Bay Seasoning (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Ritz cracker crumbs, crushed up well (about 13-15 crackers worth)
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp. red bell pepper, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. green onion, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lite mayonaise
For Chipotle-lime sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (if you like a milder flavor, only use 1/2 or just the sauce in the can)
  • 1 tbsp jarred roasted red-pepper (in oil)
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
Start by lightly beating your egg and egg white in a bowl. In another bowl, combine your cracker crumbs, the lightly beaten eggs, the mayo, cilantro, juice from 1/4 of a lime, red bell pepper and green onion in a bowl. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine your crab, juice from 1/4 of a lime, and Old Bay seasoning. Stir well to try and cover all the crab meat. Add more seasoning if you feel you need to.

Gently fold the crab meat into the "cake batter" until well combined.

Place a sheet of foil on a baking pan, cover with cooking spray. Using a measuring cup (original recipe suggest 1/2 cup, I used 1/4 cup) scoop the crab mix and plop onto the cooking sheet. 

Press down a bit to slightly flatten, this will help the cakes cook and crisp better.

Set in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking to help the mixture coagulate a little better. Go ahead and begin pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees.

While your cakes cool into a more solid state, go ahead and make your chipotle-lime sauce. In a food processor, add all the ingredients together then blend until creamy and smooth - about 30 seconds.

Pour into a small ramekin or bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

When your 30-minute cooling timer goes off, remove the cakes from the fridge and pop them on in for 10 minutes.

Then take out, carefully flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes on the flipside.

When done........... look how good those look!

...Spoon your chipotle-lime sauce over top and you are ready to indulge!
Served over bed of mixed greens, but I'd recommend a grilled or 
roasted asparagus with summer squashes!

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