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crab cake help!

I'm considering taking crab cakes (Barefoot Contessa recipe unless anyone has any better ideas) to the *dreaded* potluck BBQ I'm going to tomorrow night.

Will they be completely soggy/inedible if they have to be reheated in the microwave? Has anyone tried this? Should I just skip this idea altogether?

Ack...add me to the list of people who hate potlucks.

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  1. I would skip the crabcakes....they need to be fresh and pan fried. However, crab dip would be a reasonable alternative or if you wanted crab but less of an appetizer feel, crab stuffed shells or crab enchiladas might be a good idea.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Janet from Richmond

      Another vote from Crab Country for skipping the Crabcakes.
      Check out recipes for West Indies Crab Salad, a dish popular in the Gulf Coast area around Mobile that is like a crab ceviche. The crabmeat is marinated in an oil and vinegar dressing with onion. You could serve it in recycled clam or mussel shells nestled on a bed of shredded kale, red cabbage, or ice. Add a bit of parsely or pimento to the crab for color depending on the color of the shells and garnish you use.
      This is a delicious recipe and a great appetizer or light meal. Very popular in LA (Lower Alabama) and the Gulf South.

      1. re: MakingSense

        I make something like this using orange and lemon juice, a litle mustard, finely diced red onion and lemon zest (meyer lemon is good). THe crab salad is served in endive leaves. Very good and looks great arranged in sunburst pattern on serving platter.

        1. re: Densible

          I like West Indies Salad better with lemon or lime juice instead of the vinegar in the dressing - a bit of heresy on the Gulf Coast. It really is like a crab ceviche and a terrific dish.
          Once you start with that idea - crab ceviche or oil-and-vinegar crab salad, it's easy to think of other things that you can mix in with the crabmeat to do lots of creative things with crabmeat.
          Frankly, I find crabcakes pretty tedious. Been there, done that. No big deal.

          1. re: MakingSense

            although a bunch of lump crab lightly seasoned with some pepper, a little lemon juice, a touch of mayo, coated with some panko crumbs and sauteed in the shape of a "cake" is pretty good....

            1. re: Densible

              Didn't say crabcakes were bad. Just repetitive. Got crabmeat? Make crabcakes. Few people branch out beyond variations on a few recipes any more. Crabcakes. Maybe crab dip. Salad, usually with mayo.
              There are so many things to do with crabmeat. Possibly because it's such a luxury product for so many, they don't do more. Lots of traditional recipes from the Gulf Coast, Chesapeake region, Caribbean, Asia. No idea why they're not more common.

    2. Though microwaving would not leave them completely inedible (depending on what/how much binding you use), they do taste best fresh and panfried. I have been known to freeze them and then cook at the potluck if I'm friends with the host. Otherwise use a coarser binding like panko, increase the amount, and good luck with the microwave!

      1. I too think that the crabcakes aren't so good reheated. But if you already have crab, how about a hot/warm crab dip? Easily reheated, delicious on all sorts of dippers. Or, make a cold crab salad and spoon it onto endive leaves or onto small toasts or into hollowed-out small tomatoes.

        1. no crabcakes. =(

          how about ceviche? i have this recipe i love for Watermelon Shellfish Ceviche, with shrimp, scallops, and i put crabmeat instead of lobster. it's not traditional ceviche (i.e, you poach the seafood rather than "cooking" it in citrus juice). it's very refreshing and you can do it ahead for the most part. serve it with some Terra chips or maybe fry up some plantain chips.


          1 Reply
          1. re: NirvRush

            Sounds great. If you're buying already picked crabmeat, it makes the whole thing easier (no poaching required).

          2. I don't think they would be inedible, I've reheated them in the microwave before, they just loose the crunchy crust once you wrap them. Anyway I've made them, had some left over and wrapped them with plastic wrap and refrigerated them. Then reheated them.

            If you already have the crab meat perhaps you could bring a crab salad and serve it with a crispy homemade sesame seed cracker.

            Another favorite (of mine), but it might be too warm out and depending on how much crab you have, is crab cannelloni.

            1. let's add another fly to the ointment. if the potluck is "dreaded" why waste some beautiful crab meat on it. jfood would leave the crab meat home for the next night (probably more appreciated then as well) and go for a different recipe with different ingredients.

              If you really want to bring some form of fish cake (maybe that was "assigned" to you) go to the Silver Palate and make the Salmon Croquettes. Please do not poo-poo these because of the name. Jfood has been making them for years and it is almost impossible to get a full plate of them off the stove while the other jfood hover like vultures in the dessert. They are absolutely outstanding.

              7 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                SheikhMuhammed agrees....

                Salmon croquettes are cheap, easy, and pretty good. They're one of the first things I made regularly when I started cooking for myself. If you really want to do it on the cheap, you can use canned salmon! If you're going to a potluck with a bunch of knobs, don't waste crabmeat on them. Save it for people you care about.

                1. re: jfood

                  I tried to find the recipe and couldn't...Could you share?


                  1. re: sds

                    yes only seeing Croquette, jfood? Looking at Good Times and The Siver Palate?

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      15.5 oz can of salmon
                      1/2C bread crumbs
                      1/2C mayo
                      1/2c chopped onion (vadalia works great)
                      1/4c minced yellow pepper
                      1/4c minced celery
                      1/4c chopped fresh parsley
                      1 egg
                      2t grated lemon zest
                      1t dijon
                      1t worchester sauce
                      6 drops tobasco
                      1/4t salt

                      jfood takes the bones out of the salmon. then takes about half the salmon and mixes it with everything else. take the other half after the mixture in incorporated and fold in. make patties, coat in some more bread crumbs and fry.

                      1. re: jfood

                        What's this? Tobasco jfood! kidding, Thanks it looks good! Love salmon cakes.

                    2. re: sds

                      will do my best this evening to post within the chowhound guidelines. and it uses canned salmon if that make a difference to anyone.

                    3. re: jfood

                      Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up being stubborn and making the crab cakes. Reheated them in the oven and they were delicious and disappeared in about 2 minutes (maybe we're just not all that picky about our crab cakes in Toronto!)

                      And to be fair, the potluck was actually very good - I was pleasantly surprised!