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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Crab Cakes with Ravigote Sauce from Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Crab Cakes have been on my mind lately. In October, I am heading to California to judge a crab cake cooking contest. I have been trying different crab cakes whenever I see them on a menu. So far, I have not had any luck with any I have found in Arkansas. I have a great one in Gatlingburg at the Cherokee Grill. Here is the recipe from Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook. Ralph should be getting close to reopening Brennan’s.

Crab Cakes

  1. 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over

  2. 2 tablespoon finely chopped red sweet peppers

  3. 2 tablespoon finely chopped green sweet peppers

  4. 1 tablespoon minced green onions, green parts only

  5. 1 teaspoon creole seasoning

  6. 1 teaspoon Louisiana pepper sauce

  7. 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

  8. 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  9. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  10. 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  11. 2 large eggs, divided

  12. 3 cups fresh soft breadcrumbs, divided

  13. 1 cup whole milk

  14. 2 cups all-purpose seasoned flour

  15. 1/3 cup clarified butter

  16. 1/2 recipe ravigote sauce with crabmeat

  17. 1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves, for garnish

In a large mixing bowl combine the crabmeat, red and green sweet peppers, green onions, Creole seasoning, pepper sauce, worcestershire sauce, table salt and pepper. Lightly mix with a fork, being careful to keep the lumps of crabmeat intact. Gently blend in the mayonnaise and one lightly beaten egg, then 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings to your liking. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape the chilled crabmeat mixture into 8 equal-size balls. Place them on the parchment-lined sheet or pan. Refrigerate the crab balls for about 3 hours, until they are firm. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small mixing bowl, lightly whisk together 1 egg and the milk to make egg wash. Place the seasoned flour in a pie pan, and the remaining scant 3 cups of breadcrumbs in a separate pie pan. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. One at a time, gently and lightly dust the chilled crabmeat balls in the flour, then quickly moisten all over with the egg wash, letting excess liquid drain off. 8. Gently roll the crabmeat balls in the breadcrumbs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Heat the clarified butter in a heavy 12-inch sauté pan or heavy skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Form the crabmeat balls into cakes about 3⁄4-inch thick, pressing them gently together to make them fairly solid, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Pan-fry four of the cakes in the heated butter, placing them in the sauté pan at least a half-inch to an inch apart, for about three minutes or until the undersides are nicely browned. With a spatula, gently turn the cakes over and brown the other sides, about two minutes more. As the cakes brown, transfer them to a third parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat Steps 11 and 12 to brown the remaining four crab cakes. Bake the cakes uncovered just until they are cooked through and lightly plumped, five to seven minutes.

Ravigote Sauce

  1. 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  2. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  3. 1 cup mayonnaise

  4. 1/4 cup red sweet peppers, minced

  5. 1/4 cup green sweet peppers or Anaheim peppers, minced

  6. 1 1/2 tablespoon small capers, drained and chopped

  7. 1 tablespoon minced Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves

  8. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  9. 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

  10. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  11. 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

  12. 1 teaspoon Louisiana pepper sauce

  13. 1 large egg, hard-boiled and finely chopped

  14. 1/2 cup lump crabmeat, picked through, optional

In a medium-size, nonreactive mixing bowl, dissolve the dry mustard in the lemon juice. Stir in the mayonnaise. Gently fold in the red & green sweet peppers, capers, parsley, mustard, horseradish, black pepper, tarragon, pepper sauce & egg. Cover the sauce and refrigerate it—at least one hour or up to four hours—until it is ready to serve, then taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you are using crabmeat in the sauce, gently blend it in just before serving, being careful to keep the crab lumps from breaking up too much. Enjoy!!!

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