Caribbean Crab Cakes with a Key West (Lime) Touch

I have been in the mood for Crab Cakes for quite some time.  Finding decent fresh crab meat is not that easy though, so it has been almost two years since I have made them at home.

After the Komen Race, I walked around the West Palm Beach Green Market with friends. You can find vendors with anything from fresh bakery goods, seafood, local produce, orchids and other plants.

My friends stopped at a Seafood Vendor’s booth and inquired about the crab meat. It appeared very fresh. It better have been. The Jumbo Lump crab was 23 dollars a pound! 

I have found a lot of the crab being sold comes from Vietnam. No offense to the country but I don’t trust crab meat from Vietnam. I have read too many bad things about the handling of seafood from this country, including this article from November 2010 http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40198123/ns/today-today_health/

The crab meat we considered buying was not from the US either. It was from Brazil. Now I don’t know if that makes it better or worse, but I haven’t read any bad press about it.

My friends did buy some of the Jumbo Lump. I just couldn’t resist, but instead of the Jumbo, I bought the “poor man’s” regular lump crab. It is fine for crab cakes and only 16 dollars per pound (maybe it is really poor man’s because of how your pocket feels after buying it! Empty.) I can rationalize a bit of extravagance once every two years!

Upon returning home with my “find” I had to decide how I wanted to enjoy it. Something healthy might be good. Then again, when was the last time I had an extravagant meal? Hmm. Caribbean Crab cake Benedict for breakfast on Sunday sounded like a good reward for my not so famous Komen run/ walk.

My mother has a very easy recipe for Hollandaise Sauce using a blender. She was kind enough to share it with me. Hollandaise isn’t something I use frequently. I can almost feel my arteries complaining just thinking about it. It’s has enough butter to make Paula Deen smile!
I had saved a recipe for Caribbean Crab Cakes Benedict from an issue of Coastal Living.  I used it as the basis for my happy fat breakfast (oh, ok I will stop…if it makes you happy it must be healthy, right?).

I must admit that as always I didn’t follow either recipe exactly. I only used as much as was necessary of the mayo, the oil (I used canola) and the breading.

I wanted more of an Island style Hollandaise so instead of just lemon juice, I used ½ lemon juice and ½ lime juice. I also took a chunk of ginger and pressed it into a garlic press just to extract some juice. I added a little of the ginger juice to the hollandaise and a little more to the crab cakes. I also put a little lime juice into the crab cake mixture in place of the powdered ginger.  The added ginger and the lime juice were really the special touches that made this recipe outrageously good.

Finally, I skipped the avocado although that sounds pretty good. I put the crab cake on top of a whole wheat English muffin half and then topped it with the poached egg and some sauce (not a lot, you don’t want to drown it.)

I hope you will take the time one Sunday (or Saturday) and make these for your special someone and you. Put on some nice morning music, pour Mimosas or brew up some rich espresso coffee, share the Sunday paper and have a relaxing day.

Then get your rear up and get some exercise! Enjoy!

Caribbean Crab Cakes Benedict
Yield: Makes 6 servings
  • 3  saltine crackers
  • 3  (1-ounce) slices French bread, torn
  • 1  pound  fresh lump crabmeat, drained
  • 1  cup  mayonnaise
  • 1  egg white
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  seafood seasoning
  • 1/4  cup  peanut oil
  • 2  tablespoons  unsalted butter
  • 2  avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 6  large eggs, poached
  • Key Lime Hollandaise (recipe follows)
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Garnish: diced red bell pepper
Place crackers in a blender or food processor; process until finely ground. Place bread in blender or food processor; process until finely ground.
Combine crabmeat, mayonnaise, cracker crumbs, breadcrumbs, egg white, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Shape crab mixture into 6 (4-inch) patties. Cook crab cakes, in batches, in hot oil and melted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until golden.
Place avocado slices and poached eggs on crab cakes, and top with Caribbean Hollandaise Sauce and pepper. Garnish, if desired.
Julia Dowling Rutland, Coastal Living, NOVEMBER 2003

Sheila’s mother’s easy Blender Hollandaise with Sheila’s Key Lime touch

½ lb butter, melted
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon of lime and one of lemon juice)
½ tsp salt
Dash of cayenne or more to taste
A few drops of fresh squeezed ginger juice for Sheila’s variation

Put all the ingredients but the butter in the blender. Turn the blender on then slowly pour in the warm melted butter until incorporated.

If you need to keep it warm, you can put it in a thermos or keep it warmed in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring to keep it from breaking.