Every Christmas we host a party for about two hundred friends. I personally prepare about seventeen appetizers and eight desserts. By far the most popular appetizer served are my Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce. Today I am sharing my Best crab cakes recipe.
Everyone has a favorite recipe. It’s. the recipe that whenever you make it, everyone goes crazy. For me, that is definitely my Best Crab Cakes Recipe with Lemon Dill Sauce. Trust me, it is that good.
It’s only April so I’m not going to bore you with details of our Christmas party. But the quick story is that thirty-ish years ago when my husband and I were first married we threw a holiday party for our friends (all 40 of them) and I cooked all of the food. Over the years, our list of friends has grown and now our children (and a lot of their friends) come to the party. In fact, it’s probably the biggest party of the year for our 29, 27, and 26-year-old sons. Go figure.
As the crowd has grown to about 230, the menu has expanded to about 17 heavy appetizers and eight desserts. Somehow after all of these years, I still cook the food. But I do have help! My amazing girlfriends come over and help on Thursday and Friday. We also hire bartenders and staff that actually cook all of the food I have prepared. This allows yours truly to enjoy the party. Well, kind of.
My menu has evolved over the years. Yet there are a few recipes that have and will always be a part of our party. (Because if I took them off I think some of our friends would turn around and go home.) The most popular recipe of all is My Best Crab Cakes Recipe. It’s fairly simple and the Lemon Dill Sauce is the best (and is also really good on grilled salmon).
I honestly have friends that stand in the kitchen waiting for these crab cakes to come out of the pan … for the entire party!
The crab cakes are not hard to make. The cakes don’t take long to pull together and then you just cook them in a frying pan with oil.
The Lemon Dill Sauce is so good. I also serve it with salmon and you will often find a jar in our refrigerator.
I should probably add that I make these crab cakes year-round. They are fabulous in the summer, especially when served with a salad.
- Crab Cakes
- 3 TBL butter
- 1 scallion, chopped fine
- 1 glove garlic, minced
- 2 TBL red bell pepper, chopped fine
- Ground red pepper (cayenne) to taste
- 3 TBL heavy cream
- 1 TBL dijon mustard
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp minced fresh basil
- 1 tsp minced fresh parsley
- 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 TBL vegetable oil
- Lemon Dill Sauce
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 TBL fresh dill chopped
- 1 TBL minced fresh parsley
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 TBL grated lemon peel
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Lightly chop the crab meat in the food processor and set aside.
- Melt one TBL of the butter in a large skillet and saute the scallion, garlic and red bell pepper until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add the ground red pepper, cream and mustard.
- Cool slightly. Add the egg, basil, parsley, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, and the crabmeat.
- Mix lightly. Mold into 25 one-inch wide patties.
- Combine the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and the parmesan cheese in a shallow dish.
- Roll the patties in the crumb and cheese mixture.
- Chill for at least one hour. (The crab cakes can be made one day prior and refrigerated, covered, up to this point.)
- Combine the oil and the remaining 2 TBL of butter over moderate heat in a large skillet.
- Saute the crab cakes 3 minutes on each side.
Lemon Dill Sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Chill until the mixture thickens.
The Lemon Dill Sauce in this recipe is also really great with salmon (baked or smoked).