Serves 4 to 6
2 egg yolks
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup very hot water
2 cups olive oil
1/2 bunch tarragon, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds Dungeness crab meat
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for outer coating
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup of the tarragon aioli
Oil for sauteing
For the aioli: Place the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt and Tabasco in a food processor or blender, then blend. Pour in hot water, and process for 15 seconds. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil until a mayonnaise consistency is reached. Stir in chopped tarragon.
Combine the crab, panko and green onions. Add 1/2 cup aioli and test mixture to see how well it holds together. If needed, add additional aioli. Do not overwork ingredients. Cakes should be loose and just barely hold together. Form into cakes about 3 inches in diameter. Set crab cakes on a bed of panko.
In a medium saute pan set over medium-high heat, heat the oil until just smoking. Place cakes, panko-side down, in pan. Saute until golden. Carefully turn over. Lower heat to medium, then saute until heated through. Serve with additional aioli.
– Chef Nicholas Petti, Mendo Bistro, Fort Bragg