Want to impress your family and friends? This easy meal will be a hit at your next dinner party. Whether served as a main course or mini appetizers, these can be prepared in advance, frozen and cooked right before your guests arrive.
Fresh crab meat is best (especially when it is in season) but I occasionally use the Chicken of the Sea lump crab meat in a can from Costco; it is meaty and reasonably priced.
Saute the chopped celery and onion in the butter until tender. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients EXCEPT the crabmeat and panko.
Add celery and onion to the mixture.
Add the crabmeat; using your hands, mix in gently to blend.
Add 3/4 cup of panko. Mix well.
Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, measure out 10 portions.
Shape the mixture into patties, about 1-inch thick.
Carefully dredge the crab cakes in the remaining panko crumbs.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Fry the crab cakes a few at a time until golden on both sides, about 3 - 4 minutes per side.
Place on a platter and garnish with lemon and parsley.
You can save time by preparing the crab cakes in advance and freeze them either uncooked or cooked. Crab Cakes can be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Uncooked Crab Cakes: Wrap each crab cake individually in plastic wrap and place in a plastic freezer bag and then into the freezer. When ready to serve, defrost the crab cakes in the refrigerator before cooking. I prefer to cook them slightly frozen as it helps to keep the crab cakes from falling apart. Cook the crab cakes in a little oil 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown and thoroughly heated through.
Cooked Crab Cakes: Wrap each crab cake individually in plastic wrap and place in a plastic freezer bag and then into the freezer. When ready to serve, arrange the crab cakes either frozen or thawed on a lightly greased baking pan. Using a pastry brush, top each crab cake with a little olive oil or melted butter. If thawed, bake for about 10-12 minutes at 400°F. If frozen, increase heat to 425° F, bake for 13-14 minutes, then using a spatula, gently flip over and bake for an extra 10 minutes.