Crab cakes are a favorite here in the NW. Just about every restaurant has a "world famous" crab cake and most are pretty good. It's really hard to go wrong with good crab, but sometimes it's all filler and no thriller, if you know what I mean. Lots of mayo, vegetables and breadcrumbs, and just enough crab so the customer doesn't get mad and send it back.

This recipe we decided to do for you is a riff on a recipe I "borrowed" from a fellow chef and tweaked to suit our purpose. As is the way with most good food ideas, a good idea is taught to one chef. He/she teaches to another after a little adjusting. The next chef takes it to the next kitchen, and pretty soon after some accidental collaboration you have a really great dish.

That is how I feel about these crab cakes. I won't and can't take complete credit for this recipe but I am the latest in the string of this recipe. If you decide to make them and adjust them to your taste then you are the latest. This is how things work with chefs and restaurants, we teach, share or give away the recipe. These collaborations expand what we eat and how we cook. Please try this recipe and enjoy!

Southwest Crab Cakes

1 # Dungeness crab, picked over for bits of shell

4 oz butter

4 oz AP flour

2 oz bacon, diced very fine

1 cup milk

1 shallot, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/4 cup cooked black beans

1/4 cup fresh corn off the cob

1 cup breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil for finishing crab cakes

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add bacon and begin to render out the fat. When the bacon is cooked, 5-7 minutes, add butter and reduce heat to low and melt butter. When butter is almost completely melted, add cumin, garlic and shallots. Sweat vegetables in butter until tender and fragrant. Stir in flour to form a thick paste. Continue to cook until a smooth paste has formed and has a nutty smell. Whisk in milk and continue to cook over low heat until it becomes a very thick sauce. Set sauce aside to cool.

When sauce is cool, place in a large mixing bowl, add eggs, crab, parsley, beans, corn, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Combine well and form into cakes. Choose a size that suits your purpose. 2-3 oz for appetizers, 3-4 oz as part of a salad. And 5-7 oz as an entree.

When you are ready to eat, place a large saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil. When oil is hot, add cakes to pan and cook until golden brown on one side (3-4 minutes). Turn over and cook on other side for another 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and hot throughout.

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