Gulf Crab Cakes w/Orange Habanero Mayonnaise

Although some restaurants in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland and Virginia may not disclose it, most whole blue crabs sold there are shipped in from North Carolina, Louisiana, Florida and Texas.  Lucky me!

Cilantro, fresh lump crab, bell pepper, saltines, seasoning blend containing sea salt, mustard seed, celery seed, garlic, onion, chili pepper and black pepper, mayonnaise (or make your own), scallions, celery and an egg.

Lightly sauté celery, scallions and bell pepper and set aside to cool.

Toss together crab, cooled vegetables, herbs and seasonings, mayonnaise, a beaten egg and crushed saltines. Mixture should be moist but hold together when shaped.

Form mixture into patties about 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick then place in freezer for 15 minutes to firm. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in the bottom of a small, heavy skillet.

Lightly coat the crab cakes with additional crushed saltines then sauté until light golden brown on bottom. Turn cakes over and finish in oven (about 8-10 minutes).

Finely mince 1/2 of a seeded and ribbed habanero and combine with 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of orange juice.  Add a few drops of honey if its too hot for you.

Serve crab cakes with a salad of broccoli microgreens, slivered radishes and orange sections.

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