Makes 10 to 12 crab cakes, enough for 5 or 6 main course servings or 10 to 12 appetizer servings
5 cups soft bread crumbs, in all (use fresh bread, French preferably, and grate or use a food processor)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic®, in all
1 cup chopped fresh parsley, in all
1 tablespoon Worcetershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup seafood stock or bottled clam juice
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shell and cartilage
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup vegetable oil
how to prepare
Toast 3 cups of the bread crumbs in a 12-inch skillet over high heat, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the crumbs are light brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. (The volume of the crumbs will be reduced to about 2¼ cups.) Remove from the heat and set aside.
Return the skillet to high heat and add the butter, onions, bell peppers and celery. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables start to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the Seafood Magic, ½ cup of the parsley, the Worcestershire sauce, Magic Pepper Sauce, and garlic, and cook over high heat until the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the stock or clam juice, scrape up the crust on the bottom of the skillet, and remove from the heat.
Place the toasted bread crumbs in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add the crabmeat and the remaining Seafood Magic and parsley, the vegetable mixture from the skillet, the eggs and cream, and stir gently without breaking up the lumps of crabmeat. Refrigerate the mixture for 1½ hours.
Remove the crab mixture from the refrigerator.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over high heat to 260º using a cooking thermometer or electric skillet. While the oil is heating, place the remaining 2 cups of bread crumbs in a bowl. Measure ½ cup of the crabmeat mixture and form it into a round cake, about 3 inches in diameter, and dredge it in the crumbs to coat it completely. Repeat with the remaining mixture to form the rest of the crab cakes. Be careful not to make the cakes too flat, or they might break when you turn them over.
When the oil reaches 260º, fry the crab cakes until brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Copyright © 1995 by Paul Prudhomme