Make Ahead

Tequila lime "maioli" with golden panko crab cakes

May 22, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 cup
Author Notes

This recipe with tequila and lime takes its prompt from my swordfish recipes. I thought I would experiment with this idea for this contest. You can still have plenty of this dressing for dipping, while adding some into the crab cake recipe itself. Before I have only made crab cakes with plain mayo; the garlic certainly enriches the flavors. If you add more tequila, you will thin the dressing further, maybe too much, so hold back on the tequila splash to keep this thick enough....and then have a drink with the finished product! —Sagegreen

What You'll Need
  • The aioli-like dressing
  • 1 farm fresh egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup grapeseed oil or equivalent
  • 1 tablespoon cider or lime vinegar
  • 1 smashed peeled clove of garlic or 1-2 tsp. finely minced green garlic if available
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lime zest
  • 1 caper berry finely minced
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-3 tsp. tequila (Reposado preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced herbs (parsley, chives) optional
  • pinch of aleppo pepper, if desired
  • The crab cakes
  • 8 ounces lump crab meat (wild caught if possible)
  • 1/8 cup plus 2 tbl. of the aioli-inspired dressing
  • 1 small egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/8 cup chopped chives (or ramps)
  • 3 caper berries, finely chopped
  • small handful of chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 cup seasoned panko
  • 3/4 cup panko in a flat dish
  • grapeseed oil for frying
  • caper berries, fresh herbs, and lime wedges for garnish
  1. The aioli-like dressing
  2. In a bowl resting on a tea towel (thanks, Food52 for the tip) whisk the yolk, vinegar, garlic and a tiny splash of the grapeseed or canola oil.
  3. you continue to whisk away, slowly pour a thin stream of the same oil into the bowl. The mix should fluff up and pull together. At this point you can switch over to the olive oil. In the same fashion pour a slow steady stream into the bowl as you whisk nonstop. Add the zest. Taste and adjust the acidity and salt level if needed. Add the salt, caper berry, tequila, and optional herbs and aleppo.
  1. The crab cakes
  2. Gently combine all but the last three ingredients. Form these into 16 small disks. Dip each one into the seasoned panko and flip over to get both sides.
  3. Heat about an eighth inch of oil in a large heavy frying pan. When the oil sizzles with a drop of liquid on contact you are ready to cook. Drop the half the mix like cookies into the oil. When golden on one side turn over. Allow plenty of room in the pan. When golden on the other side transfer to paper towels to drain. Cook the rest of the batch.
  4. Serve hot with the rest of the dressing, lime wedges, and caper berries as garnish. Sprinkle a bit more aleppo on top if you want more heat. Limeade or a margarita would go really well with these needless to add.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SKK
  • Burnt Offerings
    Burnt Offerings
  • Kukla
  • Bevi
  • wssmom

47 Reviews

SKK May 27, 2011
Sagegreen, this goes on my list to make. I not only love your recipes but your thoughtful explanations. I learn as much from reading what you write as making your recipes.
Sagegreen May 27, 2011
Thank you so much, SKK. This has been the most supportive community since I joined nearling a year ago last summer. I have appreciated everyone's sharing and knowledge, always so humbling.
Sagegreen May 27, 2011
oops...I was almost going to write nearly but then switched to nearing...sot wound up with nearling.
Burnt O. May 24, 2011
Great minds think alike! Love the idea of the tequila and lime to highlight the Latin spin on the crabcakes. These look awesome.
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thanks! I tried out all my ideas with the free time I had this weekend...but now I have no more time to test out other ideas. So many new recipes are emerging this week!
Kukla May 24, 2011
It sounds delicious, and looks very beautiful!
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thank you. Kukla!
Bevi May 24, 2011
This is truly inspired. I love love love caper berries. The next time my bro-in-law makes crab cakes, I will have to contribute this mayoli.
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thanks, Bevi. Gingerroot's comment on the fabulous lobster aioli just helped me decide to change the spelling of the title...the name has been evolving throughout the week, beginning with ChefJune's comments!
wssmom May 23, 2011
You are KILLING me with awesomeness!!!!
Sagegreen May 24, 2011
Thanks, wssmom. It was a great weekend..only wish I could continue making more, but it is back to work for the rest of the week! There are so many great aioli recipes popping up, hard to keep up!
Wow! This looks absolutely fabulous! I'm not a big aioli girl, but I'm going to have to try this one. Saved this and if I could give you 5 thumbs up, I would!!!
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thank you kindly, ChezSuzanne!
Lizthechef May 23, 2011
This definitely calls for a thumbs up...
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks, Liz!
blanka.n May 23, 2011
This is an incredibly wonderful recipe that I'm definitely trying.
Thank you so much with your help on the photo.
At least it comes up correctly when you click on it.
However, given the caliber of your recipe entries, I don't think anybody is going to care about my little vegetable dip.
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks, blanka.n. Your dip looks is very refreshing!
nannydeb May 23, 2011
Oh, man...this is making me drool.
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks, nannydeb!
This sounds and looks like an awesome recipe. I would have to agree that adding lime and tequila instead of the mayo would be an interesting and intriguing alternative. I can't wait to try this recipe with my friends & family.
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Many thanks!
lorigoldsby May 23, 2011
PS your caper berries are beautiful! Did u buy them pickled?
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks, lori. Yes, I bought the caper berries pickled at Whole Foods. Love your panini!
lorigoldsby May 23, 2011
You are so very clever!! I haven't fried with grape seed oil so I'm glad to know it has a higher smoking point....will definitely try it.
TiggyBee May 22, 2011
Really beautiful Sagegreen! Your flavors are just lovely here...
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
Thanks, TiggyBee!
ChefJune May 22, 2011
You can't hear me clapping, SageGreen, but I LOVE your new name for this. And it DOES sound amazingly good. I never thought otherwise!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
And I owe the new name to you and boulangere! Thanks!!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, sdebrango; I love the new name, too!
singing_baker May 22, 2011
Wow this looks great. Everyone thinks lemon when they think of crab cakes but the lime takes it to a new level. can't wait to try!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, singing_baker! Whatever we call this, it does taste very nice.
lapadia May 22, 2011
Mouthwatering photo, love the flavors you have going on with the lime!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, lapadia.
ChefJune May 22, 2011
You are really going to town with these recipes! So inspired! For me, though, all these different flavored mayonnaises are not Aïoli. They are flavored mayos, and I love them, But when they get so far afield from the original, they aren't aïoli any more. And I don't understand the need to call them that. I've been teaching Provençal cooking for many years, and visiting there, and I've never seen any aïoli with all these other flavors. They would, for instance, call your dressing "Tequila Lime Mayonnaise."
boulangere May 22, 2011
In culinary school we were required to learn classic techniques for everything under the sun. At the same time, one of my favorite chefs was fond of saying that the box was invented so one could think outside it.
ChefJune May 22, 2011
Of course, think outside the box, but call the Tequila Lime dressing a Mayo, because it isn't Aïoli at that point. Or am I nuts?
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, ChefJune. You bring up a good point. The line between aioli and mayo you first raised with the oil content. I actually do like all olive oil. It was a surprise to me to see how much I love adding grapeseed oil. I guess this contest has really inspired to explore some new flavors with my unexpectedly free weekend with company who will be arriving later. And I confess I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend thanks in large measure to this great site! I have not felt alone for a second! Would you also call the old bay and preserved lemon recipes just flavored mayos? By adding garlic does mayo come closer to aioli, especially if you don't add mustard? Whatever we call them, this is a great prompt for a recipe contest. I'll leave the classifications to the professionals and experiment happily in any case!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
OK, seriously, I was just going to make myself a margarita and relax for the evening, but the bottom of the blender was not fastened tightly enough,and instead the drink I had to mop up from the counter...maybe a sign not to have a drink at instead, it is time for a giggle: Check out my new name for this recipe.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
You can't see me smiling, but I am! (:
boulangere May 22, 2011
best laid plans . . . .
ellenl May 22, 2011
Your recipes are always wonderful and this one makes my mouth water and stomch growl as well.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Aw, thanks, ellenl. The trick to good crab cakes is more crab and less bread crumb. They do make a great snack. I made half this recipe and it might double as dinner.
boulangere May 22, 2011
I've been checking back often ever since you threatened to put together something with tequila and lime. You have outdone yourself, madam.
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Thanks, boulangere. Well, with my company not arriving until midweek, I suddenly had more time to deliver on my threat. But I almost bowed out after the salmon. Now I have to go walk for a few hours before my week of wall to wall meetings sitting in a conference room begins!
boulangere May 22, 2011
Have you (a)prepared and (b) eaten all your creations today?!?!?
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
Today was the salmon and crab cakes!
Sagegreen May 22, 2011
But I only made quarter and half recipes!