This is a great warm weather dinner but is also a good quick meal. Honestly I have never made crab cakes because there are so many options to buy tasty, ready-made crab cakes. You can purchase fresh ones at many seafood markets or counters i.e. in San Francisco you can find them at Whole Foods or Marina Meats. Alternately, you can also find them frozen - I typically buy them frozen at Trader Joe's.
Since I had the frozen crab cakes, I set them out to defrost about an hour before dinner (you can defrost in the microwave as well). When I was ready to assemble everything, I set up each plate with a bit of baby spinach and topped them with some fresh scallions, yellow pepper and shredded carrots. Additionally, I had a package of steamed lentils (yet another Trader Joe's item) so I heated them up and put a small portion on the side.
When we were ready for dinner, I simply heated some lemon-infused olive oil in a large skillet and cooked the crab cakes for about 2-3 minutes per side. Although the crab is typically cooked this step browns and re-heats the cakes .
I serve the salad with a choice of two dressings. My preference is a balsamic vinaigrette while Luis prefers a thicker, Russian dressing. The following are the recipes for both:
RUSSIAN DRESSING (Joy of Cooking 1964 page 316)
(This portion makes enough to fill a 12-ounce bottle that you can keep in the fridge indefinitely.)
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of grated horseradish
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 1 teaspoon of grated onion
Aunt Melanie's One-Cup Salad Dressing
(I tend to double this recipe so that I can store it a 12-ounce bottle and have it in the fridge indefinitely. Ideally you should make a bit beforehand because the flavor of the garlic needs at least 20 minutes to really infuse the dressing.)
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- dash each of paprika, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice
While whisking, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add one or two whole, garlic cloves - crushed. Let sit for about 20 minutes.