Make Ahead

Tequila lime "maioli" with golden panko crab cakes

May 22, 2011
3 Ratings
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

  • Makes about 1 cup
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.
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