Crab cakes with spicy avocado sauce from epicurious.com

Japanese bread crumbs, called panko , give these cakes a light, crisp coating. Panko is sold at Asian markets and can often be found in the seafood section of large supermarkets. But if it’s unavailable, plain dry bread crumbs are an acceptable substitute.

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For sauce
1/2 ripe medium California avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 fresh jalapeño or serrano chile (including seeds), stemmed and quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk

For crab cakes
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over and coarsely shredded
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Make sauce:
Pulse avocado with mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, sugar, and one fourth of chile in a food processor until chile is finely chopped. Add milk and purée until smooth. Add more chile if desired, processing until smooth. Transfer sauce to a bowl and chill, covered.

Make crab cakes:
Stir together crabmeat, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and 1 tablespoon panko in a large bowl until blended well, then chill, covered.

Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over moderate heat, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add herbes de Provence, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons panko and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a plate to cool. Discard garlic.

Divide crabmeat mixture into 4 mounds on a sheet of wax paper. Form 1 mound into a patty, then carefully turn patty in crumb mixture to coat top and bottom. Transfer to a baking sheet and repeat with remaining 3 mounds, then sprinkle remaining crumbs on top of crab cakes. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve crab cakes with sauce.

Crisp Crab Cakes – Ellie Krieger via Terry

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 large egg — lightly beaten
2 tablespoon nonfat milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice — plus lemon wedges for serving
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
several dashes of hot sauce
1 lbs lump crab or crab claw meat — picked over
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive-oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 scallions — thinly sliced–optional
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper–optional

Mix 1/2 cup panko, the egg and milk in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, lemon juice, Old Bay and hot sauce; fold in the crab meat, panko mixture, scallion, bell pepper mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Shape into 8 patties and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Optional ingredients — I did not use scallions or peppers but here are the directions if you choose to use them.  Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and bell pepper and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Cool slightly.

Coat the crab cakes with the remaining 1/2 cup panko. Place on baking sheet, put a pat of butter on each cake. Bake at 400 for 15 min. Serve with lemon wedges.

Optional method of preparation –Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Mist the crab cakes with cooking spray and cook, sprayed-side down, 3 to 4 minutes. Spray the tops, flip and cook 3 to 4 more minutes.

Yield: 6 crab cakes

Serve with Avocado Sauce