Matthew Kenney has sucked me in ... again! Perhaps it's the gorgeously photographed food in his cookbook or maybe it's just the interesting combinations of ingredients. Whatever, I saw this recipe for Moroccan Spiced Crab Cakes and knew that I had to make them. I have found myself daydreaming about placing them on a nice bed of greens and serving them with a super chilled crisp white wine ... it's supposed to be a warm sunny day here. The back porch will warm right up with the sun hitting it ... it may even feel like a warm summer afternoon out there ... these crab cakes should be a great way to celebrate the return of the sunshine and warmth!
Of course, the 'Moroccan' aspect of this recipe comes from the spices that Kenney has you mix in with the crab meat - cardamom, turmeric, cumin, cayenne. Plus, the almond flour in the bread crumb coating adds a Mediterranean influence. The citrus and cilantro dipping sauce is just the topper! These are crab cakes for a bright sunny luncheon or a patio cocktail party! For our tastes, the dipping sauce was too tart for SB, so he just used a spritz of lemon juice, but I loved the green full-on cilantro sauce! So good! In fact, These cakes would make a perfect supper with a side of steamed rice to also have with the cilantro sauce drizzled over top!
And just so that you can see how spicy these little cakes are, I'm including a photo of them 'undressed' ... turmeric, cumin, and cardamom - oh my! So delish! This recipe could easily be prepared earlier in the day of a party, and refrigerated, then prepped as a first course or party small bite. The sauce only improves with several hours of refrigeration. A keeper recipe ...
A summertime dish with real zing! We celebrated on our warm and sunny Springtime porch! That will HAVE to do for now!
Moroccan Spiced Crab Cakes
a Matthew Kenney recipe
Make 12 to 14 cakes
1 ½ c. Panko bread crumbs
1 ½ c. almond flour
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
2 ribs celery, very finely chopped
2 tbsp. ginger root, minced
½ tsp. garlic, minced
8 green onions, white parts, thinly sliced
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. turmeric
1 c. heavy cream
1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked over for shells
¼ c. chopped parsley
¼ c. chopped chives
2 tbsp. lemon zest
¼ c. canola oil, for frying
1 c. Cilantro Dressing (recipe follows)
Making the Dish:
- Mix the Panko and almond flour in a shallow pan and set aside.
- Warm the olive oil in a shallow fry pan and add the red pepper and celery, cooking until it begins to shine. Add the ginger root, garlic, onions and continue cooking for a couple minutes.
- Stir in the cardamom, cumin, turmeric and cook for one more minute.
- Pour in the heavy cream and reduce by half – about 7 more minutes of bubbling.
- Turn off the heat under the pan and toss in the crab meat plus ½ of the bread crumb mixture, fluffing to combine.
- Add the lemon zest, cayenne, half the parsley and chives. Mix well and let the mixture cool while you make the Cilantro Dressing.
- While the dressing chills, form the cooled crabmeat mix into 12 to 14 cakes that are about three inches in diameter.
- Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the crab cakes in the remaining bread crumb mixture and fry for 3 minutes per side – until golden nad crispy.
- Plate the cakes on leaves of Bibb lettuce, drizzle with some Cilantro Dressing and serve immediately.
Makes 1 cup
1 c. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 c. cilantro leaves
½ c. canola oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Place the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and reduce to ¼ cup. Set it aside to cool.
- Heat a small fry pan over medium high heat and add the cumin seeds. Toast them for about 4 minutes and then grind them in a mortar and pestle.
- Place the orange juice in a blender bowl with the cilantro and puree until smooth.
- Add the cumin, lemon juice, oil and mix well.
- Add the egg and mix well ( if you’re squirrel-y about eating raw eggs, leave the egg out).
- Add salt and cayenne pepper, to taste.
- Place the dressing in a pretty bowl and chill slightly.
Mathew Kenney. Since I've poured over his cook book on Mediterranean-inspired food, I have discovered more of his cookbooks and am waiting for a copy of his Big City Cooking to arrive by post.
I can hardly wait ... the guy's pretty bright. Easy on the eyes, too. Just sayin' ...