Pan-Fried Spicy Crab Cakes

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup seeded and finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup seeded and finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage
1/4 cup chopped green onions, green parts only, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons Creole mustard
Juice of one fresh lemon (or 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Worcestershire sauce
Hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups dried fine bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs (for egg wash)
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Garnish: Green onions

Melt butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, celery and bell peppers. Season with salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat, green onions, Parmesan, parsley, mustard and lemon juice. Mix the mayonnaise, Worcestershire Sauce and hot pepper sauce together. Combine vegetable mixture with crab mixture. Fold in the mayonnaise mixture and 3/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Divide combined mixture into 10 equal portions and form into 1-inch thick round patties. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and season with Essence. In another bowl, whisk the egg with the water. In a third bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup bread crumbs and season with Essence. Dredge the crab cakes first in seasoned flour, tapping off excess, then in egg wash, letting excess drip off. Lastly, dredge cakes into seasoned bread crumbs, coating cakes evenly. In a large saute pan, heat oil. Gently lay the cakes, 3 to 4 at a time, and pan fry until lightly golden, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain cakes on paper towels and season with Essence while still hot.

To serve, place Creole Meuniere sauce in the center of each plate. Spoon the Roasted Vegetable Pecan Relish in the center of the sauce and lay a cake on top of the relish. Garnish with green onions and Essence.

Yield: 10 cakes