Rush Hour

Just because the kids are heading back to school and the weather might be reminding you that fall is on the way, that's no reason to give up your last days of summer. This month, I'm offering a simple crab cakes recipe that can be served over a fresh green salad featuring the season's finest produce. The combination is a hit and will have you thinking about putting together one last trip to the beach before the season's over.

You can tweak this recipe in several ways to reduce fat and calories. You can always replace the egg with an egg substitute. That will result in a slightly crisper crab cake, but that's not an unwelcome effect. You can also substitute low fat or even fat free mayo without any ill effects. Finally, you can fry the crab cakes in a nonstick skillet with a little cooking spray ... although I'd add just a touch of butter to the pan since the final flavor really benefits from it. Of course, I tend to mix and match healthier options with those that are a bit more extravagant to get a great blend of healthy eating and extra tasty results.

One aspect of this recipe that I leave completely to you is the salad beneath the crab cakes. While you can have them on their own, they really benefit from a salad that's chock full of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers ... anything that's fresh and in season. Heck, give it a taste of the southwest with some fresh corn kernels and black beans! The sky's the limit. Just make sure you savor these last days of summer.

30-Minute Crab Cakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning -- or your favorite seafood seasoning
  • 3/4 c. fine saltine crumbs, divided
  • 9 oz. shredded crabmeat
  • 1/4 c. finely sliced green onion
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 T. butter

Whisk the first five ingredients (egg through Old Bay seasoning) together in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the saltine crumbs, the crabmeat and green onions; mix to combine. Using an ice cream disher, form six patties with the mixture. Dredge each of the patties in the remaining saltine crumbs to form a uniform coating on each of the crab cakes.

Heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When the butter is melted, swirl the pan to evenly distribute the oil and butter. Fry the prepared crab cakes, turning once, until they are golden brown ... about 2-3 minutes per side. Serve the crab cakes over a green salad, if desired.

  • Yields: 2-3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .