Bite-Size Crab Cakes with Lemon Caper Mayo

Bite-Size Crab Cakes with Lemon Caper Mayo

There’s much debate about how to make the perfect crab cake. Some people will tell you that using saltine crackers or bread crumbs is heresy, but we find the saltines help the cakes hold their shape yet still let the crab flavor come through. This is one of those deceptively easy hors d’oeuvres that guests think you slaved over.

Ingredients Directions

For the mayo

1 cup mayonnaise
4 tablespoons chopped chives
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon drained capers, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon liquid from the caper jar

For the crab cakes

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
pinch salt
1 pound lump crabmeat, drained and picked over to remove any shell*
1 cup finely crushed saltine crackers (from 25 to 28 crackers)**
vegetable oil, for oiling the baking sheet

*Use fresh or, if fresh isn't available, frozen, but not canned.
**You can use a food processor to do this, but we hate to haul ours out for one quick task. Our low-tech method: Put the saltines in a resealable plastic bag, squeeze out the extra air, and seal. Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers inside the bag.

Prepare the mayo

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare the crab cakes

Preheat broiler.

In a large bowl, mix the first six ingredients until thoroughly blended. Gently stir in the crabmeat and saltines.

Form the mixture into 1-inch balls and arrange them on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Gently press each ball until it flattens into a cake about 1 1/2 to 2 inches across. Broil the crab cakes, turning once halfway through, until they’re browned on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve warm.

Makes about 40 crab cakes and 1 1/2 cups of mayo.

Make-Ahead Factor

The crab cakes can be made 1 day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. Warm them in a 300°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes. The lemon caper mayo can be made 3 to 4 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.