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Tom Reidy's winning crab cake recipe by Rebecca Penovich on 2006-06-12

Tom Reidy, AIWF board member and Program Committee chair, wins the enthusiast category of the I Love Crab Cakes competition with his Buffalo-style crab cake with blue cheese, spicy hollandaise, and celery sorbet.

Tom and Chef Jim Swenson, winner of the People's Choice Award in the professional chef's category, appeared on Channel 9, WUSA, on June 10 to demonstrate their winning crab cakes.

Here is Tom's winning recipe.

Ingredients for the Crab Cakes, makes 8 entrée size cakes

 1 Pound Lump Crab Meat picked over for cartilage

¼ lb Blue cheese crumbles, I prefer Buttermilk Blue for its mildness and texture

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 Eggs

2 Tbs. Freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Sleeves (8 ounces) Unsalted Saltine Crackers crushed in food processor

4 ounces lightly salted Kettle Style potato chips, crushed

Clarified Butter for frying

  -Lightly break up some of the crab meat in a bowl, leaving about half of it whole.

-Lightly toss in the blue cheese and ½ cup of the crushed saltines 

-Whisk together one of the eggs, the mayo and lemon juice

-Lightly toss mayo mixture with crab until all are combined

-Form mixture in to 8 patties. I prefer to use a ring mold or round cookie cutter. Place on waxed paper covered plate

-Chill for about ½ hour

-Combine remaining saltines and potato chips and pulse in processor until crumbs are uniform

-Remove crab cakes from refrigerator

-Beat remaining egg in a shallow bowl. Place cracker mixture in another shallow bowl

-One at a time, coat a cake with egg, then carefully coat with cracker mixture

-Place coated cakes on a fresh waxed paper plate and refrigerate another ½ hour.

-Remove cakes from fridge. Lightly coat a non-stick 10” skillet with clarified butter. When hot,  add 4 crab cakes. Fry until a nice golden color. Flip and cook other side until same color, adding more clarified butter if necessary.

-Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining 4 crab cakes.

-To serve, place a crab cake on each plate. Nap with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce Hollandaise and serve with a scoop of celery sorbet. Recipes follow.

 Frank’s Red Hot Sauce Hollandaise


 3 egg yolks from room temperature eggs

½ Tsp salt

1 Tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbs cream

1 Cup (2sticks) melted unsalted butter, heated until bubbling, but not brown

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbs Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce, there is no substitute!


-Place egg yolks, salt cayenne and cream in blender. Whirl until frothy.

-At medium high speed, add butter in a thin, steady stream. Sauce will slowly thicken

-After half of butter has been added, add lemon juice and hot sauce.

-Continue blending, adding remaining butter until all is used and sauce all combined

-Serve immediately or sauce can be prepared ahead and kept in a pre warmed thermos.

 Celery Sorbet

 1 Pound celery stalks

2 Tbs light corn syrup

1 Tbs feshly squeezed lemon juice

 -Separate celery stalks. Pull away the strings from the back starting atop peeling with a paring knife and pulling away. Discard stringy material

-Chop celery in to 1 inch pieces

-Pulse celery, corn syrup and lemon juice in food processor until you have a smooth puree

-Freeze puree in ice cream maker, I use a Cuisinart, according to manufacturer’s instruction

-Serve immediately. If you must make ahead and freeze, you will have to scrape it with a fork or spoon like making a granita.


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