A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 25, 2008
Southwestern Crab Cakes (Southwest Crab Cakes)

Southwestern Crab Cakes (or Southwest Crab Cakes) is a seemingly Gulf Coast dish, but it appears perhaps most frequently on restaurant menus in Austin, Texas. “Southwestern crab cakes” is cited in print since the 1980s.

“Southwestern” crab cakes are prepared and served with typical Southwestern ingredients which may or may not include:  red peppers, green peppers, serrano chiles, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, chipotle remoulade, ancho chile remoulade, black bean salsa, mango salsa, tequila-lime jalapeno cream sauce, yellow mole sauce, et al.


Chez Zee (Austin, TX)
Maryland “Southwestern” Crab Cakes
“Old Bay” Seasoning roasted corn, bell peppers and crabmeat. Lightly breaded and baked. Served on a bed of lettuce over fresh Béarnaise with fiery apple-tomato chutney on the side.

Hill Country Pasta House (Austin, TX)
Southwestern Crab Cakes $9.99
with a black bean salsa, served over red bell pepper aioli and drizzled with cilantro oil

West End Grill (Ann Arbor, MI)
Southwestern Crab Cakes - 14.00
A mixture of lump crab, roasted corn and a blend of spices, seared and topped with a tequila-lime jalapeno cream sauce.

Tortilla Jo’s (Disneyland)
Southwestern Crab Cakes - Sweet crab meat lightly breaded and served with yellow mole sauce, roasted red pepper butter and crispy tortilla strips. $11.95

Blue Moon Mexican Cafe (NY/NJ)
Southwest Crab Cakes $9.95
Made with the finest Maryland crab, served with a chipotle remoulade and sprinkled with mango salsa

KWTX (Central Texas)
Southwest Crab Cakes
Ingredients Needed:
1 lb. crab meat
¼ cup red & green peppers
¼ cup onions
1 ½ cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 eggs

Directions:
1. Combine above ingredients and fold in mixing bowl.
2. Form into individual size cakes.

To bread crab cakes:
1. Prepare two bowls- 1 with 3 cups of bread crumbs;
1 with ½ quart of buttermilk
2. Dip crab cakes in milk then in bread crumbs.
3. Pan sear or fry for 4 minutes.

Texas Monthly (September 1987)
Southwestern Crab Cakes
From Cooking: I, Piscivore by Gary Cartwright, in the September 1987 issue of Texas Monthly.

1 large egg
2 tablespoons mayonnaise, crème fraîche, or sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or the hotter Louisiana Creole mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pound fresh or pasteurized precooked crabmeat, lump or back fin, flaked
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped scallions
8 to 10 saltine crackers, crushed, or 1 cup soft white bread crumbs
1 to 2 two-inch fresh serrano chiles, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons unsalted sweet butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lime wedges, for garnish

Mix together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, peppers, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the crabmeat, parsley, scallions, saltines, and chiles. Mix the ingredients…

20 May 1988, Dallas (TX) Morning News
Of these, the fried calamari rings in beer batter and piquant Southwestern crab cakes were the standouts.

2 August 1992, New York (NY) Times, pg. NJ11, col. 3:
A main course of Southwestern crab cakes with red pepper and ancho chili remoulade was excellent. The three crab cakes were made with jumbo lump crab meat, celery, onion, and red pepper and served with a mildly spiced sauce that appeared to be identical to the sauce served with the corn and crab fritters.

6 April 1994, Doylestown (PA) Intelligencer, pg. C4, cols. 3-4:
SOUTHWESTERN CRAB CAKES
Scallop Mousse:
1 cup jumbo sea scallops
3 egg whites
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour
Crab Mix:
1 cup lump or blue crab meat
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced red pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Olive oil or olive oil/butter mixture for frying
Cilantro Buerre Blanc

Yields 8 to 10 crab cakes.
In processor or blender, puree all scallop mousse ingredients except flour. Stir flour into mousse and set aside.
In large mixing bowl, combine crab mix ingredients, except Cilantro Buerre Blanc. Spoon scallop mousse over crab mix and gently fold mousse into mix, trying not to lose fluff of mousse.
In large skillet, fry crab cakes in little olive oil or mixture of olive oil and butter. Serve with Cilantro Buerre Blanc (recipe follows).
Note: The mixture can be prepared in advance and held in the refrigerator a few hours before frying.

CILANTRO BUERRE BLANC
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 ounce clarified butter
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons white wine
4 ounces cold butter, cut into cubes

Yields about 1/2 cup.
In medium saucepan, saute shallot, garlic and cilantro in clarified butter until soft and just before beginning to brown. Add lime juice and white wine.
Reduce sauce by half, remove from heat and slowly whisk in cold butter, piece by piece, until all butter is incorporated and sauce is creamy.

4 May 1994, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. C1, col. 1:
Chef Louis Cressy...oversees a Gulf Coast menu that includes Muffuletta Quesadillas, Southwest Crab Cakes and Hash-Brown Chicken.

Google Groups: rec.food.cooking
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking
From: David Schwoegler
Date: 1996/02/24
Subject: Re: Inexpensive Crabcake Cleverness

I developed a recipe for what I call “Southwestern Crabcakes.”

It responds to the high price for crab meat, and answers the imponderable, “What to do with all the small pieces at the bottom of the 5# bag of corn chips from the warehouse club?”

The resultant crabcakes have a nice flavor and texture. The challenge is to get them to hold together while you shape and coat them. Because the binder is deep-fried corn-chip crumbs, which has fat in it, press them FIRMLY into cakes, then coat them GENTLY in a small bowl of the crumbs. 

SOUTHWESTERN CRAB CAKES
Using a food processor with the utility blade, or a mini-processor, crumb enough “residual” corn chips to yield one cup. Set aside.
In the processor, flake 1/3# of surimi--imitation crab-meat (sort of the particle-board of the seafood industry). Place in mixing bowl.

Add:
2 T mayo,
1 beaten egg,
2 sliced scallions,
1 diced jalapeño pepper (seeded if you don’t like it hot),
Mix in enough corn-chip meal to bind and make mixture manageable to shap
into cakes.  (...)

pie in the sky
Friday, February 17, 2006
Crab Cakes...of the not-crumby variety
(...)
SOUTHWEST CRAB CAKES WITH LIME AND CHILES
INGREDIENTS
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
⅛ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped green onions
8 to 10 saltines, crushed (I go for less, rather than more)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 lime wedges

DIRECTIONS
Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cayenne, Worcestershire sauce, white pepper and salt in a bowl; mix well.
Stir in the crab meat, parsley, green onions, crackers and chiles. Shape into 12 patties. Place on foil-lined tray.
Chill, covered, for 30 minutes or longer.
Sauté the crab cakes on both sides in the butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp; drain.
Serve with lime wedges.
The recipe makes 8 large cakes or 10 small ones. Mmmmm. Enjoy, Dad!

Recipe from True Grits cookbook
by Inc. Junior League of Atlanta

Chowhound - Austin
Austin’s The Roaring Fork: What Am I Missing?
I first tried the Roaring Fork when I was visiting a colleague who was staying at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel. We had drinks and shared a “Big-Ass Burger.” I remember thinking that the place was pretty good. Since then, I’ve been back to sample different starters, sides, and main courses. Overall, I’ve found the presentation and the descriptions to be more compelling than the actual food. Am I somehow missing all the good stuff? What, specifically, are the best dishes there?

Starters I’ve had [all recommended as “the best” by enthusiastic servers]:

Southwest crab cakes with green-chile butter (not spicy at all) and a “spicy remoulade” sauce (ditto). The Southwestern part must refer to the inclusion of corn kernels, the so-called spicy elements, and the non-traditional inclusion of Saltines to bind the crab cakes together. These weren’t bad, but they weren’t very good, either. 
(...)
MPH Dec 20, 2006 07:36PM

Renaissance Garden - Recipes
DonTroll
Sent: 2/8/2007 11:35 PM
Southwestern Crab Cakes with Jade Sauce
“I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas, where my family enjoyed the abundance of fresh seafood,” says member Elaine Sweet. “I took my mom’s classic crab cake recipe and updated it to reflect my family’s tastes. We love spicy foods with good texture; cilantro and lime juice are two of our favorite accent items.” After adding a few ingredients, Elaine substituted a lighter, more flavorful sauce for the traditional tartar sauce.

CRAB CAKES
1 lb. crab meat
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs, divided
4 tablespoons butter, divided

SAUCE
1/2 cup white wine
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Dash freshly ground black pepper

The Recipe Book
Monday, August 27, 2007
Southwestern Crab Cakes with Salsa Fresca
1 lb lump crab meat
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
5 Tbs mayonnaise
1 Tbs parsley, chopped
1 Tbs scallion, minced
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
8 - 10 drops Tabasco Sauce
salt & pepper to taste
3 Tbs unsalted butter
Salsa Fresca

In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients except butter. Mix well but gently to keep the crab as intact as possible. Form mixture into 8 small cakes.
In a large non-stick skillet, melt 3 Tbs butter over medium heat. Sauté crab cakes 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Serve with Salsa Fresca.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, February 25, 2008 • Permalink