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Spicy Crab Cakes With Fried Quail Eggs

  • Yield: 10 cakes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup seeded and finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions), green parts only
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Creole or whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fine white bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup bleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Fried Quail Eggs
  • Creole Meuniere Sauce
  • Roasted Vegetable Pecan Relish


  • Melt the butter in a small sautÈ pan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat, green onions, cheese, parsley, mustard, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Mix well, then set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk one of the eggs until frothy. Add the remaining tablespoon lemon juice, then slowly whisk in 1 cup of the vegetable oil. The mixture will look like thin mayonnaise. Add the white pepper, the remaining teaspoon salt, the Worcestershire, and Tabasco. Whisk together well.
  • Combine the vegetable mixture with the crab mixture. Fold in 1/2 cup of the mayonnaise mixture and 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 10 equal portions and form them into 1-inch-thick cakes (patties).
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon of the Creole seasoning.
  • In another bowl, whisk the remaining egg with the water.
  • In a third bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of the Creole seasoning.
  • Heat the remaining 1 cup oil to 360?F in a large sautÈ pan over medium-high heat.
  • Dredge the cakes first in the seasoned flour, tapping off any excess, then in the egg wash, letting the excess drip off. Dredge the cakes in the seasoned bread crumbs, coating them evenly. Gently lay the cakes, 3 or 4 at a time, in the oil and fry until lightly golden, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
  • Season the cakes with the remaining teaspoon Creole seasoning. Serve each topped with a fried quail egg, dribbled with the meuniere sauce and accompanied by the pecan relish.