Every holiday spread needs a grand centerpiece. Usually it takes the form of a massive roast or a shiny glazed ham. These impressive (and often expensive) proteins are treats—it's not every day that you sit down to a prime rib supper—which is why they are seasonal mainstays. At my house, though, it's crab cakes that bring everyone to the table.
I'm a Florida native, so it's not that surprising that I'd choose seafood for Christmas dinner over beef or pork. My Italian roots may also play a part, though my family is so small that we've never been able to justify a Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration (way too many leftovers). There are a lot of reasons why I love crab cakes. You can assemble them ahead, dress them up with sauces, and pair them with just about any side dish. Some of my favorite sauces to serve these with are Herbed Creme Fraiche, Spicy Pepper Sauce, and Creamy Dijonnaise. There is a flavor for everyone to enjoy. You don't have to take their temperatures, they won't smoke up your kitchen, and you don't have to go through that nerve-racking internal debate over whether to carve them in the kitchen or at the table. They feel just as special as any large cut of meat and require way less angst.
I've learned a few things about them over the years. The best ones are made with a mix of fresh-picked jumbo lump and regular lump crab. Don't bother with the stuff in cans—it's Christmas, after all. These two types work together to form patties that hold their shape and still have decadent chunks of seafood throughout. Keep the flavorings simple. You've paid good money for that crab, so let its delicate sweetness shine. Cook the patties in a mixture of butter and olive oil.
My last piece of advice is to make a few extra, if possible, and hide them in the back of the fridge. That way, you can enjoy crab cakes topped with poached eggs for breakfast the next morning or put one in a soft, squishy potato bun for lunch. Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
(-)Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.