Miniature Crab Cakes
I'm really super proud of these crab cakes. I kinda feel like this is a full blown reinvention of the low carb crab cake! A standard crab cake is usually crab, which is held together with lots of breadcrumbs and eggs and/or mayonnaise. How would I do a crab cake ... without bread and ... without making it a FrankenCake?
Often, before I set out to create a recipe, I look to see if a similar recipe exists. There's almost always something similar. This gives me an idea of "what's out there". From there, I try and determine if there's a way I can improve it, or ... throw a "DJ Twist" at it, or ... often times ... I just leave it alone and move on. In this case, I found lots of low carb crab cakes, but they all seemed to do the same thing. They were all basically crab, with eggs or mayonnaise, but ... no breadcrumbs. This is fine, in theory, and probably tastes great, but ... in my mind ... it's little more than a crab flavored fried pancake-like omelet-thing, which ... again ... is fine, but it's not what I picture when I think of crab cakes in my head.
I want something plump and shapely. I wanted a full "puck" of a crab cake ... with a nice crust! This means, I needed something to serve as a binder ... or the "glue" that can hold its own and form its own shape, but not detract from the core "crabbiness" of it all. Hmmmm ....
Mousseline is basically a catch all term that means whipped cream is involved. In this case, it's a fish mousseline, or even more specific to the pictures ... a SHRIMP mousseline! (the stuff you'll find on shrimp toast, or within the shrimp stuffed dishes at Dim Sum) Mayonnaise, a common binder for crab cakes is an egg and fat emulsion. Shrimp Mousseline is an egg, shrimp and fat emulsion. Kinda similar, but ... it'll hold its shape better and ... tastes like shrimp!
Don't fear and don't feel like this suddenly becomes a crazy advanced recipe. It's not. At all. All that's involved is throwing an egg in a food processor with some shrimp and a little salt. Then slowly pour some cream into it, while it's blending. That's it. Mousseline! From there, you fold your crab, seasoning and other goodies into it. You'll be left with a kind of ... raw lump of seafood gooiness. It's just thick enough to form! Here, you can scoop out little 1 portion balls, drop 'em into a bowl full of crushed pine nuts, form 'em into little pucks and ... fry 'em up in butter!
Note: For the mousseline, you can use most any raw fish. I used shrimp, but you could pick up some inexpensive white fish, sole or haddock, for example ... or salmon, or scallops, or go for something expensive like lobster! It really doesn't much matter, provided it's cold, fresh, raw and not full of bones, tendons or anything else tough.
Second Note: The photos show the crab cakes with a Saffron Aioli. Soak a small amount of saffron in warm water, then pour it into a small amount of mayonnaise with a small amount of chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saffron Aioli!
Final Note: Makes about 24 crab cakes, with a serving size of 3 cakes.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 6 Servings
- 8 oz raw fish shrimp, scallop, lobster, etc.
- 1 large whole egg chilled
- 1/2 cup cream heavy whipping
- 1 lb lump crab meat drained and picked to remove shells
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and finely diced
- 4 whole green onions (scallions) cut lengthwise into thin strips and divided
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper ground
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh whole butter divided
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Before you do anything, chill your food processor bowl and blade. The mousseline needs to be made in a cold environment.
Add your fish/shrimp/whatever to your food processor with a small amount of salt (about 1/2 tsp.), pepper and an egg. Turn the food processor on.
Through the hole in the top, slowly drizzle in your cream, until it is well blended. You'll have something that looks like paste. You may need to scrape down the edges and puree for another half moment.
Scrape your mousseline into a bowl, and add your crab, bell pepper, green onions, cayenne, paprika and a small amount of salt (about 1 tsp.) and pepper. Mix well.
Set your crab mixture in the fridge.
Place your pine nuts in a plastic bag. A one-gallon Ziploc would work nicely. Roll over the bag with a rolling pin, or crush them with a mallet or the bottom of a pan. You want them crushed, but still somewhat whole. You're going to use them as a crust.
Once the pine nuts are crushed, pour them into something like a pie pan. You want a wide bottomed bowl or pan. A fairly small casserole dish would work, as well.
Portion 1 to 1-1/2 oz balls of the crab mixture and place them in the pine nuts. Roll them around, so they are evenly coated with the pine nuts.
Pick up each pine nut crusted crab ball and shape it into a little puck in the palm of your hand, while twirling it with your fingers. It should be a flat puck, about 1 inch thick. Set them aside.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
In 2 large oven proof sauté pans, melt 2 tbsps of butter, in each pan.
Over medium heat, place some crabcakes into each pan. There should be about a 1/2 inch gap between each cake. If you don't have room for all of them, don't worry.
Brown one side of each cake. Turn the over, when one side has browned. Brown the other side.
Once both sides have been browned, remove them and place them on a cookie tray. Brown both sides of any remaining crab cakes and place them on the baking tray.
Bake the whole tray for a further 10 minutes in the oven. Remove.
Serving: 6g | Calories: 498.89kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.9083333333333g | Protein: 29.11g | Fat: 40.258333333333g | Fiber: 1.9683333333333g