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Style Magazine

Dinner Date

Dec 28, 2012 04:11AM ● By Style

Cookbook and recipe image courtesy of Oxmoor House; wine bottle image courtesy of Mer Soleil Vineyard.


Cooking Light® The New Way to Cook Light by Scott Mowbray & Ann Taylor Pittman

(Oxmoor House, 2012, $34.95)

Crab cake lovers are fierce about the ratio of crab to filler. Our light cakes put the crab forward – and lose calories and fat – by using just enough mayo and breadcrumbs to hold the mixture together. Plus, we skip the deep-frying and sauté in oil to ensure crunch. For a milder rémoulade, omit the ground red pepper. An arugula or baby greens salad with a simple olive oil-lemon dressing is a nice accompaniment.

Crab Cakes:

  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. canola mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), divided
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil, divided


  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. minced shallot
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1  1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp. capers, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

To prepare crab cakes, drain crabmeat on several layers of paper towels. Combine crabmeat, bell pepper, and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring gently to combine. Sir in 1/4 cup panko. Place remaining 3/4 cup panko in a shallow dish.
Divide crab mixture into 8 equal portions. Shape 4 portions into 1/4-inch-thick patties; dredge patties in panko. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add dredged patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining crab mixture, panko and oil.

To prepare rémoulade, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve rémoulade with crab cakes. Serves 4.  



Friends will be impressed by Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay’s trendy ceramic bottle…and its contents. The Wagner family – who’ve been creating wine for three generations in Napa Valley and established Caymus Vineyards in 1972 – saw great potential for producing wine elsewhere and began planting grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, where the cooler coastline yields early ripening for Chardonnay.

Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay is unoaked – fermented in cement vats and stainless steel tanks – giving it a sharper flavor compared to the rich, buttery barrel-fermented Chardonnay they also make. The grapes grown for Mer Soleil Silver have bright acids and a crisp minerality, resulting in a Chardonnay with a smooth and soft entry, followed by ripe citrus, namely lemon and grapefruit. Charles Wagner II says, “What I love about this wine is that is has a true sense of place. By fermenting and aging without oak, you allow the flavor influences from the vineyard to really shine through.”

The wine’s high acidity makes it a perfect match for many foods, including this month’s crab cakes recipe. Start 2013 off by resolving to buy a bottle (retails for about $23) and share it with friends.

Richard Righton
Owner, Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom