I have people coming to dinner tonight and need to know how to rescue the crab cakes
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Ok Mandy.....1st up, don't panic. It's food, right?....not brain surgery.
Personally, I would try to up the basic ingredients in order to 'envelope/disguise' the
breadcrumbs and egg. Remember, egg will bind and crumbs will soak up....so I would taste check for enough moisture, then crumb as normal. Maybe a really nice drizzle sauce will help (preserved lemon/aioli/cilantro) Relax and enjoy company.
As mentioned before, don't panic! The extra liquid from the egg will help to soften the breadcrumbs, making them soft. I'd continue to let the liquid soak up, and add more egg (maybe watered down a bit) if the breadcrumbs are still hard. Then, you'll end up with something more like a crab fritter than a traditional cake, but it'll still taste great. There are some crab fritter recipes that call for Bisquick, so the breadcrumbs in this case (with the added liquid) can take its place. Happy cooking, I'm sure your guests will love the food.