Crab Cakes with Avocado Aioli

This dish is great as an appetizer or a main course. For a main course, I would serve it over a bed of mixed greens and double the amount of salsa. Instead of the avocado aioli, make an avocado dressing or purchase a southwest ranch dressing. Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps, it comes together very quickly! The added components of the salsa and dipping sauce really make it special, and I think worth the little extra effort. 

Makes: 6 appetizer portions

1- 16 oz can crab meat (look for shells!)
2 heaping tb Dijon mustard
2 tbs lemon juice
1 egg
2-3 tbs bread crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup fresh corn
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs honey

1 ripe avocado
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 large clove of garlic
2 tbs fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed

  • For the crab cakes: whisk egg in a large bowl together with mustard and lemon juice. Add the crab meat and mix together really well (just use your hands, it’s easier even if it’s messy). Add 2 tbs of the bread crumbs and mix together. If there is excess liquid, add the remaining bread crumbs to the mix.
  • Divide the crab mixture into 6 portions, making little crab patties. Each will be about the size of your palm. Put on a plate and into the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least one hour, but no more than 3 hours.
  • For the salsa: Whisk together cilantro, lime juice, and honey in a bowl.
  • Halve the tomatoes and add them with the corn and red onion to the dressing mix. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • For the dipping sauce: combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Remove and put into a serving dish and into the refrigerator.
  • To serve: heat a large saute pan over medium heat with two tbs of butter. Add crab cakes to the pan and cook for 4 minutes per side, or until brown. It’s better to cook on medium-low than medium high. You want them to warm completely through before they are brown.
  • Remove from the pan and serve with the salsa and dipping sauce. For a group, put the dipping sauce in a small bowl and serve with the salsa on top of the crab cakes. For an individual serving, see the picture above.

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