the recipe contest we almost won...

a while back i saw an ad in the Mississippi Magazine about a recipe contest they were having.

i thought this would be super fun even though i have never created a recipe before (except for monster cookies...and let's be honest...we just added m&m's to an already crazy recipe)

i set my heart on crab cakes.

i love crab cakes and can make them pretty well, so i decided to test out different variations.

i invited the only person i know who loves crab cakes more than me...nate bonham. his wife came for moral support...she isn't a fan of seafood. lauren dent and my roommate, emily craft were also among the taste-testers.

it sounds like a fun and easy job, but it was quite daunting.

we decided to make a black bean salsa to go under the crab cakes. this was delicious. some referred to it as "manna from heaven." i didn't argue.

we took a basic salsa recipe for this one and added our own variations. if there are recipes out there like ours...it is purely coincidental.


1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8 oz can white shoepeg corn, drained (not to be confused with hominy...which i did in the grocery store)
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 large mango, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 whole cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (we used an english cucumber, but i think regular would be fine)
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 t. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

combine all of these ingredients and chill for 30 min.

this salsa is amazing but it kind of over-powered the crab cakes. if i had to do it over again i would chop mango and red onion and make a salad of that to set the crab cake on.

so here is our amazing crab cake recipe.

(we tried so many that i think i'm giving y'all the correct version)

Southern Crab Cakes

- finely chop the following:

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 granny smith apple
4 celery stalks
1 small red onion
1 bunch of cilantro or (1/4 c.)

- sautee the veggies using:

olive oil spray
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. tobasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste

-sautee until they are tender. about 10-15 min.

(this makes a large bunch of veggies, so i reccommend saving them for another recipe)

- in a separate bowl whisk 2 egg whites (we used the break free egg whites that are already separated)

- to the egg whites add:

1/2 lb. of lump crabmeat, drained (1 can of lump from kroger)
1/2 c. mayo (we used the one from canola oil)
5 T oatmeal
4 T bread crumbs
1 t. worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. cilantro
1 1/2 t. old bay seasoning
1 T. dijon mustard
2 t. capers
5 grinds of black pepper
1 cup of the sauteed veggie mixture

- mix gently with a spatula.

- let a skillet heat at med. and spray with pam

- form patties with the crab mixture and add to the skillet. cook on each side for 2 min. then put the skillet in a 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.

- plate and top with manna

yields: 6 - 8 crab cakes, depending on size.

this recipe above was the fan favorite

but here are some alternate substitutions and additions:

-in one batch we added 1/4 c. light sour cream instead of the egg whites and mayo.

-another had 2 heaping T of cream cheese (the weight watchers kind) instead of the egg whites and mayo. mix this one by hand.

-in some we added captain rodney's and some liked the sweet addition.

-since you make a lot of veggies this recipe can be doubled or tripled easily and you can just save the crab cake mixture...maybe make some sort of crab cake bisque?

-you can forget the manna and the veggies and make the crab cakes just plain. maybe with the mango and red onion on top. that part is really easy.

the recipe sounds scary and involved, but it really isn't that hard to make them...or mess them up.

the only problem was that i forgot to enter the recipe into the contest. so we will never know if it was a winner. in our hearts it is.

of course i would forget to submit it.

i would like to thank all those involved in the first annual crab cake festival 2k9.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I took those pictures!!
Nate still wont look at or talk about crab cakes. I wonder how long it will be before he decides that he can eat another one!

The Crazy O'Reillys said...

umm... hello... you forgot that i LOVE crabcakes as well!! so much so that olivier gave me his recipe as a b'day present!! you can make crabcakes for me ANYTIME!! i was gonna tell ya, though... your black beans were lookin' a bit red in the photo. did you use red or black?? anyway, all of the photos look delicious! and i LOVE the cute kitchen towel on the oven door! =)