Classic Crab Cakes with Tarragon Creme Fraiche

This recipe came from a fabulous cookbook – Atlanta Cooks at Home: Recipes for Entertaining from Atlanta’s Top Chefs. We recommend this cookbook…but most importantly, we recommend these crab cakes!

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12 ounces lump crabmeat*                                        $4.00

1 large egg                                                                          $0.12

1/3 cup breadcrumbs                                                   $0.25

3 tablespoons mayonnaise                                         $0.15

1 lemon, juice and zest                                                 $0.30

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce                      $0.01

1 Dash hot sauce                                                             $0.05

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream*                 $1.00                    

2 to 3 Tablespoons dried, chopped tarragon    $0.25

pinch of cayenne (optional)                                     $0.05

1/4 cup canola or peanut oil                                    $0.21

salt and pepper to taste                                              $free(ish)

                        Total Cost =                                             $6.39                        

Other tools needed: 1 Zip-top Bag.

In a large bowl, gently combine the crabmeat, egg, bread crumbs, mayonaise, lemon juice and zest, Worchestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. The mixture ill be fairly wet. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, form medium sized crab cakes and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refridgerate to chill and set, about 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the creme fraiche and tarragon. Season with a pinch of cayenne, if desired, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Remove the crab cakes from the refridgerator and gently transfer the cakes into the oil. Do not crowd the cakes – work in batches if necessary. Saute until the crab cakes are golden brown and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove the cakes from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

Transfer the cakes to a large serving platter (for an appetizer), or onto plates (for dinner).  Put the creme fraiche mixture into a zip-top bag, and cut a tiny hole in one corner. Use this as a piping bag (or if you are super fancy and already have a piping bag, just use that!). Top each crab cake with a small dollop of the seasoned creme fraiche. Garnish each cake with any leftover tarragon leaves.

Serve immediately, and ENJOY!

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* You can buy 6 ounces of lump crabmeat at Trader Joe’s for $1.99. If you doubt the quality of canned crabmeat, try it…really, it’s good.

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