Best Crab Cakes
1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked over
1 C. Milk
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
2 celery ribs, chopped
½ cup onion chopped
1 garlic clove peeled and smashed
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz raw peeled, deveined shrimp with tails removed (1/4 pound)
¼ cup heavy cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp hot sauce
½ tsp Old Bay seasoning
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Place crabmeat and milk in a bowl. Make sure crab is fully submerged and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile place ¾ cup panko in a plastic bag and close. Finely crush crumbs with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer. Transfer crumbs to a 10 ½ inch non-stick skillet, and add remaining ¼ cup panko to them. Mix to incorporate. Toast them over medium high heat for about five minutes stirring constantly until lightly browned and fragrant. Place panko in a shallow dish and add ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out skillet.
3. Pulse celery onion and garlic in food processor until finely chopped, five to eight pulses, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl, rinse food processor bowl and blade and reassemble. Put butter in skillet on medium high heat and add vegetables. Cook until vegetables are soft, about five or six minutes. Put vegetables back in bowl and let cool to room temperature. Rinse skillet and dry.
4. Strain crabmeat through a fine mesh strainer to remove milk, pressing firmly down on meat but being careful not to break it up too badly.
5. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place shrimp in empty food processor and pulse until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl. Add cream and pulse 2 to 4 times to incorporate. Transfer shrimp paste to bowl with vegetables. Add mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce and old bay seasoning and mix completely. Add crabmeat and fold in gently with a rubber spatula being careful not to break up crab and just to mix.
6. If making big crabcakes (dinner sized) divide crab mixture into eight parts, and form into balls. Press down to about ½ inch thick patties. Place patties on baking sheet with parchment and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. (If I am making miniature crab bites I just refrigerate the bowl for a half hour and then make small balls with a cookie scoop or teaspoon, about an inch or inch and a half in size.)
7. Coat each patty in panko, making sure to press crumbs against the patty to get them to adhere. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in the skillet until shimmering, and place four crabcakes in skillet. Cook on medium heat without touching them for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Turn with two spatulas to keep them from breaking apart. Add 1 tbsp oil, reduce heat to medium low and cook on second side until golden about 4-6 minutes. Transfer to a platter and wipe the skillet. Repeat with remaining four crabcakes and two tablespoons of oil. Serve immediately. (When I do the bite sized ones, I cook as many as I can comfortably fit in the skillet and still be able to turn them easily.) I use a store bought Remoulade dressing by Louisiana Fish Fry Company. It is delicious.