If you do a search for crab cake recipes, you will end up with a surplus of choices. It can be difficult to make up your mind on which one to make. So, when indecision hits…make up your own recipe. The road to this particular recipe began a few years ago on a trip to Napa Valley. Mike and I stayed at this nice little B&B in downtown Napa that was very accommodating when it came to my dairy allergy. One morning their chef made me crab cakes with spicy aioli on an heirloom tomato. Never had a crab cake that way before. Love it!!! So, I started doing that at home. After a while I started to play with what I served the crab cakes with: tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados. Recently I had some thoughts rolling about in my head on what I could do take my crab cakes to the next level. I bought The Flavor Bible about a month ago and after perusing it’s pages those thoughts rolling around in my head started to form a cohesive idea: Crab Cakes with Avocado and Mango Salsa. It was a huge hit!
I typically like to keep my crab cake recipes relatively simple and allow the crab to sing through. Crabmeat is luscious, rich, and yet quite delicate. You have to be careful with what you prepare as an accompaniment. You want something that has enough acidity to cut through the richness, but not overpower the delicacy of the crab. I love how the salsa does this beautifully. The mango gives a light sweetness that when mixed with the other ingredients isn’t too cloying, the tomatoes and lemon juice furnish the acid, the cucumber provides you with a cool contrast to the heat and bite of the Serrano chili and shallot, and the avocado presents a creamy texture that balances the crunch of the vegetables.
Avocado and Mango Salsa
1 mango, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 small cucumber, diced
1 avocado, diced
¼ – ½ shallot, minced
½ – 1 Serrano chili, minced (optional)
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
· Combine in all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley (2 tsp chopped fresh parsley)
½ tsp dried thyme (1 tsp chopped fresh thyme)
1 tsp minced garlic
½ cup dried cornflake crumbs (or panko)
3 cans lump crabmeat, drained
1 can fancy crabmeat, drained
½ cup cornflake crumbs/panko
· Preheat the oven to 350 F.
· Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
· In a bowl, combine and whisk the first 8 ingredients.
· Gently fold the crabmeat into the mayonnaise mixture.
· Fill muffin cups ¾ full with the crab mixture.
· Gentlypress the crab mixture down.
· Sprinkle the remaining cornflake crumbs over the crab cakes.
· Bake for 15 minutes.
· Crack open the oven door and broil for a few minutes, until lightly browned and crispy on top.
· Let the crab cakes cool for 5 minutes.
· Remove the cakes from the muffin pan and top with the Avocado and Mango Salsa.