Had you at the potato chip crust, right?
These could be a lovely little starter, or a fun addition to a party buffet. Not quite as fussy as a crab cake, easier to cook, but still filled with crab flavor.
A cup of good crab is better than gallons of preservatives
I’ve used the meat of the little Maine peekytoe crabs here, but use whatever domestic crab you can find in your area. I buy mine frozen. You’ll want crab that is fresh or frozen for the best quality, and which is unlikely to contain preservatives. Just 8 ounces makes around nine crabcakes, more if you make them slightly smaller for a party offering.
I had some slightly stale potato chips that kept slowly disappearing, so I thought it might be wise to get them out of my site and use them in this coating. Definitely a good move!
Yes, you definitely need a cast-iron frying pan
Often fritters are cooked in more fat, but I find a little oil in the trusty cast-iron frying pan works best, they are the original non-stick pans without the chemicals! If you don’t own one, it is a good investment and will last generations with care. My pan “Dolora” belonged to my grandmother, and then my mother, and I’ll probably hand it down to one of my kids or grandkids.
Check out flea markets for an old one such as Wagner or Griswold; sometimes you can find them really cheap if they have rusted. But even the worst ones can be cleaned and re-seasoned for many more years of use. Of course, you can always buy a new one, just look for an American made brand and not from China which are not well made and prone to cracking.
Perfect for all types of frying, with little oil. I use mine many times during any given week, and it never lets me down. They are also great for baking cornbread, biscuits, bean dishes, chili, cassoulet, and berry desserts, especially cherry clafoutis!
Potato Chip Crusted Maine Crab Fritters with Horseradish & Lemon Cream Sauce
- 8 oz. Maine peekytoe crabmeat, or other domestic crab
- 2 tbsp. chick pea flour
- 2 tbsp. finely minced onion
- 1 tsp. anise seed, crushed
- 1 tsp. French mustard
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ tsp. sweet paprika
- Pinch of salt
- Few grinds of fresh black pepper
- ½ cup crushed potato chips, stale is fine as long as they are still crisp
- ½ cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs
Gently pick over crab to find any remnants of shell. Place in a bowl and add flour, onion, anise, mustard, egg, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix carefully, just until combined.
Place potato chips and breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. Form the fritters using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop. I put some crumbs in the palm of my hand, scoop in the mixture, then sprinkle the top with more crumbs. Pat to mesh everything together. You should make about nine fritters. Press down the centers so they are rather flat when cooking for even browning.
Heat olive oil in a cast-iron or non-stick pan, just enough to cover the bottom. You are not deep-frying here, but you need the oil for color. If you like, spritz them with olive oil and bake on a preheated baking sheet in a 475 degree oven, turning once, until golden.
Cook a few minutes on each side, turning over when the fritters feel firm and a little peak underneath reveals the color. Drain on a rack and season with a touch more salt.
These are delicious served on a bed of mixed greens with a little horseradish cream sauce on the side. For a gathering, make them a little smaller and pile on a platter with the sauce waiting.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
- 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek-style yoghurt, or non-dairy yoghurt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
- 1 heaping tbsp. prepared horseradish
- 1 tbsp. ketchup
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of a lemon on microplane
- Dash of hot sauce of choice
Combine everything, and mix well. Add more lemon juice to thin if desired. This is good on lots of things other than fritters from grilled vegetables to salmon.
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