Friday, May 25, 2012

Cajun Crab Cakes with Spicy Greek Yogurt

When I was in New Orleans last weekend I picked up some goodies to take home, including some Cajun spice and hot sauce. The hot sauce got confiscated by airport security unfortunately (my own fault for not checking my bag), but the Slap Ya Mama spice rub made it home safely. I love that name, it cracks me up.

This stuff is spiiiiicy, and was put to very good use in some homemade crab cakes. Of course you can use any spice blend you like in the crab cakes, or just use a pinch of cayenne pepper, or leave the spice out altogether if you're not a lover of spicy food. I'm a huge fan of crab cakes and love them any which way, but it was nice to add some heat for a change of pace.

These crab cakes are filled with onions, red peppers and celery so they have a nice bite to them. They are also really crispy, even though they aren't fried in oil. The trick is coating them with panko breadcrumbs, which provide crunch, and cooking them in a cast iron skillet if you have one.

My sister bought Matt a cast iron skillet for Christmas last year, and it's now one of the most-used kitchen tools we have. Sometimes I wonder how I ever got on without one! If you don't yet have one in your collection of frying pans, it's really worth the investment.

In the meantime, you can obviously make these in a regular pan, but make sure it's a nonstick pan or the breadcrumbs might burn without the use of oil.

I'm not really into tartar sauce but I do love my condiments, so I wanted a little sauce on these. The combination of the creamy texture, tart flavor and cool temperature of the Greek yogurt made it the perfect complement.


Matt ended up eating his crab cakes on a bun as a sandwich, but I ate mine as-is with a side of broccoli and a crunchy dill pickle.

I ate all the veggies first so I could just enjoy the crab cakes on their own. ;-) I literally scraped every last bit of crabmeat and stray breadcrumbs off my plate and had to contain myself from getting seconds. Dinner perfection!

Cajun Crab Cakes with Spicy Greek Yogurt

Serves 4

Ingredients - Crab Cakes
1 lb. lump crabmeat
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. spicy yellow mustard
Juice from 1 1/2 limes
1 - 2 Tbsp. Cajun spice (adjust seasoning to your liking and the heat level of the spice blend) 
1 egg, whisked
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus 1/2 cup for dredging

Ingredients - Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
Juice and zest from half a lime
1 tsp. Cajun spice (optional)

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onions, red peppers, celery, garlic and salt & pepper. Sweat the veggies until they become tender and the onions are translucent. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, lime juice, Cajun seasoning, egg and additional salt & pepper. Add the crabmeat, cooked veggies and breadcrumbs. Mix well.

Form the crab mixture into small patties and coat in panko breadcrumbs and more salt & pepper (if desired). Refrigerate 1 - 2 hours until set.

Spray a large cast iron skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Cook the crab cakes for several minutes on each side, until golden brown and hot in the center. (Alternative: Sear the crab cakes on the stove, then transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and finish them at 375 degrees for about 5-8 minutes.)

1 comment:

  1. yummmm, these look delicious!! Makes me think we should go back to having these for our Christmas eve dinner, so good! Glad you guys are getting good use out of the cast iron skillet! :-)