Crab Cake Sandwich
This addictive sandwich is filled with sweet Dungeness crab, tangy-rich aïoli, spicy romesco sauce, and crisp fennel salad.
Yield: serves 4
For the Crab Cakes
- 1 cup finely crushed unsalted crackers, such as saltines
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire
- 1 tsp. Tabasco
- 1 egg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. Dungeness crab meat, drained
For the Aïoli, Romesco, and to Serve
- 2 egg yolks
- 2⁄3 cup plus 5 tbsp. canola oil
- 1⁄3 cup plus 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, mashed
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 slices (about 1 oz.) country white bread
- 1 (14-oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 3⁄4 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Hot paprika, to taste
- 4 square ciabatta buns, split
- 1 cup loosely packed arugula
- 1⁄2 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Make the crab cakes: Combine crackers, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco, egg, salt, and pepper; add crab and gently stir until combined. Form four ¾″-thick patties and transfer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap; chill until ready to use.
- Make the aioli: Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl; as you whisk, slowly drizzle in 2⁄3 cup canola oil and 1⁄3 cup olive oil until mixture is emulsified and thick. Whisk in 1 tbsp. lemon juice, garlic, salt, and cayenne; cover and refrigerate.
- Make the romesco: Combine vinegar and bread in a food processor; let sit for 10 minutes. Add red peppers, hazelnuts, 3⁄4 cup olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, black pepper, salt, and paprika; process until slightly chunky. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.
- For the sandwich: Heat 1 tbsp. canola oil in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add reserved crab cakes and cook, turning once, until browned and heated through, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Heat a 12″ cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the cut sides of buns with ½ tbsp. oil and grill until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Spread aioli on both halves of buns; place a crab cake on the bottom halves and top with romesco sauce. Toss arugula, fennel, and onion in a medium bowl, and divide between sandwiches. Cover with top halves.