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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fancy New Year's Eve Dinner (Crabcakes and Brussels Sprouts)

After a very hectic and stressful year (what did you think wedding planning was easy!?), we wanted to take NYE easy this year.  We had a bunch of wonderful friends who were doing fun and fancy things, but in the end we just wanted something low key where we could wear sweats.  So we decided that instead of the money spent on a night out, that we would spend our money preparing a great NYE dish.  Crab cakes topped the list and we had the perfect recipe for them.  We've made this crab cakes recipe back in 2008 when it first came out, but haven't made it since (crab is expensive, even in DC).  So we had it in our recipe book and decided to make it again.

I paired it with another recipe we've made before: Roasted Brussels sprouts and apples.  Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rep over the years, and if they're roasted, are quite tasty.  It's amazing to see what you might like if you try it.  You just never know. 

Back to the crab cakes.  O-M-G. I thought to myself, I remember liking this recipe but it's just crab cakes, they're all made the same right? WRONG. I completely forgot how freaking incredible this recipe is.  The red onion, panko and Worcestershire, mmmmmmmm.  The tangy butter sauce is great as well--white wine vinegar with shallots was really great. 

We didn't make any changes to the crab cake recipe, except we cut it in half.  The hubby was in charge of getting crab meat and bought a pound of crab when we only needed 8 oz for the two of us. So instead of leftover crab cakes, we're going to make the Buttermilk Avocado soup with Crab topping again, double mmmmm.

The Brussels sprouts were a nice compliment to the crab cakes for a light meal.  We added in an extra 1/2 C of apples, because I remembered that it needed more apples from the last time we made this. We also had to roast the Brussels sprouts about twice as long.  I don't like Brussels sprouts crunchy so I'd rather take the time to roast them longer. You may decide you like them a bit crunchy. To each their own. 

We served this with one of our white wines from Greece. It was AAAAAAAAAAAMAZING. It was also a bit sad.  With each bottle we drink, we have one fewer.  Since white wines don't age as well as reds, we have to drink the remainder of our Greek wines relatively soon.  But we will always have the memory.

As of this post, six people gave the Brussels sprouts and apples an average rating of 4 out of 5 and thirty-five people gave the crab cakes an average rating of 4 out of 5.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2011!

Crab cakes with tangy butter sauce

Recipe by David Bonom, Cooking Light, April 2008

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 crab cakes, about 1 cup vegetables, and about 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)


  • Crab cakes:
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped red onion
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 3  tablespoons  light mayonnaise
  • 2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 3/4  teaspoon  Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2  egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1  pound  lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed
  • 1 1/2  cups  panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • Vegetables:
  • 21  baby carrots (about 12 ounces)
  • 5  small red potatoes, quartered (about 8 ounces)
  • 4  medium shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 8  ounces  haricots verts, trimmed
  • Sauce:
  • 2/3  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped shallots
  • 2  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2  tablespoons  butter


1. To prepare crab cakes, combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently fold in crabmeat. Gently stir in 3/4 cup panko. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
2. Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions (about 1/2 cup each); shape each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in a shallow dish. Working with 1 patty at a time, dredge in panko. Repeat procedure with the remaining patties and panko.
3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat both sides of crab cakes with cooking spray. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 7 minutes. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 7 minutes or until golden. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, cooking spray, and remaining 4 crab cakes.
4. Preheat oven to 450°.
5. To prepare vegetables, leave root and 1-inch stem on carrots; scrub with a brush. Combine carrots, potatoes, and shallots in a small roasting pan. Coat vegetables with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Toss. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, turning once. Coat haricots verts with cooking spray. Add haricots verts to vegetable mixture; toss. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
6. To prepare sauce, combine broth, shallots, and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 4 minutes); remove from heat. Stir in butter. Serve with crab cakes and vegetables.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 443 (34% from fat)
Fat: 16.7g (sat 5.6g,mono 5.2g,poly 2.9g)
Protein: 32.8g
Carbohydrate: 42g
Fiber: 7g
Cholesterol: 103mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 969mg
Calcium: 163mg
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples
Cooking Light, November 2009
Yield: 2 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)


  • 1/2  cup  diced apple
  • 8  ounces  Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2  tablespoons  apple cider
  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine apple and Brussels sprouts in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish. Add apple cider, olive oil, minced fresh thyme, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; toss well. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are tender.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 109
Fat: 4.9g (sat 0.7g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.7g)
Protein: 3.6g
Carbohydrate: 15.8g
Fiber: 4.7g
Cholesterol: 0.0mg
Iron: 1.6mg
Sodium: 321mg
Calcium: 47mg

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