Cornbread Mini Crab Cakes with Lemon Caper Sauce and Chives

Cornbread Mini Crab Cakes | windykitchen

Can you believe it’s graduation season already? Next week we’ll be heading back to Illinois to see my husband’s brother graduate from high school (and give a speech!). I’m so excited for him!

I actually kindof like graduation speeches, even though some can be long and boring. People always talk about Steve Jobs’s 2005 commencement address at Stanford, where he talked about the importance of finding something you love to do and being passionate about your work. That’s certainly the stuff of great commencement speeches, but it always rang a little hollow to me. Unfortunately for me, the things I love to do (travel, watch Friends reruns that I’ve seen a billion times, have dramatic arguments with my husband about the meaning behind a particular pop song) don’t pay much. What then?

Well, as this guy points out, “follow your passion” isn’t always great advice. If you’re passionate about curing diseases and stuff, then you should definitely follow that passion to medical or nursing school. If your passion is playing ultimate frisbee with your friends, well…maybe find some other way to make money.

The more time I spend in the kitchen, the more I think I might be passionate about cooking. But if I tried to follow that passion to some kind of money-making endeavor (working in a restaurant, opening a bakery, etc.), how much would I love it then? My guess is not nearly as much.

So for now, I’ll keep my day job…and use my evenings and weekends doing what I love.

Which — from time to time — is making crab cakes.

Cornbread Mini Crab Cakes | windykitchen

CORNBREAD MINI CRAB CAKES WITH LEMON CAPER SAUCE AND CHIVES (recipe from Cooking Light)

For the sauce:
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (I subbed for Greek yogurt because mayo gives me the icks)
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon (use other half for crabcakes)
1/4 tsp Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of freshly ground black pepper

For the crabcakes:
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt)
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups crumbled buttermilk cornbread (see below, or use your own)
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
cooking spray

For the cornbread:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fat-free buttermilk (can make your own by combining milk with about 1 tbsp vinegar and letting it sit, then removing 1 tbsp of mixture to make 1 cup)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. To make sauce, combine all sauce ingredients and chill until ready to serve.
2. To make cornbread (unless you’re subbing your own), preheat oven to 425. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt; make a well in center of mixture. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; stir with whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir until just moistened. Scrape mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center somes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. You will use about half of this cornbread to make the crabcakes.
3. To make crabcakes, heat oil in small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Combine pepper mixture, 1/4 cup mayo/yogurt, and next 6 ingredients (through Old Bay). Stir in egg.
4. Fold cornbread into mixture and add crabmeat. Mix well. Scoop mixture into 16 portions (about 1/4 cup each) onto 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Lightly cover, and refrigerate 1 hour. Uncover and bake at 400 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with sauce and additional cornbread. Garnish with chives, if desired.

So. Not the quickest or easiest thing you could make for dinner, but I thought these were a fun treat. And this recipe makes a ton — I still have more than half these little crabcakes in the freezer for a lazy night when I’m feeling less than passionate about cooking!

Cornbread Mini Crab Cakes | windykitchen

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