Sometimes I invite friends over to my house for dinnertimes and let them pick the dish. This particular dish was selected by my sistah from another mistah, Imani Cezanne (check her out on Verses & Flow!).
I let JerVae (why are my friends so talented, tho? Check her out on the YouTubes) pick dessert, but that’s another post (FYI it was peach and candied bacon cobbler) and she brought her BFF David and we had a grand ol’ time! I love a good dinner party! Especially since I don’t have an actual dining room and we all have to sit Indian style (#dasracist) and eat on the couch. Oops.
Couch dinner parties FTW.
A note about tomatoes – I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes. At all. Especially out-of-season tomatoes. HOWEVER… roasted cherry tomatoes? Hi, I’m Holly and I’m your biggest fan! Roasting them allows some of the water in the tomato to evaporate and helps concentrate the natural flavors. If you are not a tomato fan, I highly suggest you try roasting some cherry or grape tomatoes! It might just change your mind!
At this point, I was hosting and cooking at the same time and sort of forgot to keep taking pictures of the process. Whoops. Fry the crab cakes, toss the salad… go ahead and follow the rest of the directions below, they’re all in there.
Crab Cakes with Garlic Aioli and Roasted Tomato and Arugula Salad
makes 4 servings in 60 minutes
for the crab cakes
1 lb. crab meat (lump if you can get it)
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp creole or Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs, can substitute regular breadcrumbs)
3 scallions, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (remove seeds to make less spicy)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
for the salad
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cups of arugula, rinsed and dried
2 tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
juice of one lemon
salt + pepper to taste
for the aioli
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
for the aioli
Combine all ingredients in a blender, food processor or use an immersion / stick blender. Set aside and refrigerate until ready.
for the salad – roasted cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400F. Place halved cherry tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tomatoes have collapsed and have become soft.
for the crabcakes
Pick over crab meat thoroughly for any shell pieces.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add in scallions and diced jalapenos and stir to combine. Gently fold in crab meat. Sprinkle in bread crumbs and gently fold into crab meat mixture. Be careful not to over mix or mix too aggressively, the mixture should stay a bit loose. Shape into 8 equal-sized patties, about 1″ thick, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the cakes to the pan (8 should fit comfortably, but if not cook in batches). Cook until a nice dark brown crust has formed, about 4 minutes. Flip the crab cakes and reduce the heat to medium low. Continue cooking until the other side is well browned another 4 to 5 minutes.
put it all together
In a large bowl, toss arugula with parmesan cheese, olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Add a good pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, to taste. Divide salad onto 4 separate serving plates and top with roasted cherry tomatoes and chopped avocado. Top with crab cake and a spoonful of the garlic aioli.