Winter: Crab Cakes With Sherry Mayonnaise

Pairs perfectly with Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay

Recipe by Chef Josh Silvers

Sherry Mayonnaise
3⁄4 cup mayonnaise, preferably Best Foods or Hellman’s brand
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1⁄2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Crab Cakes
12 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Best Foods  (or Hellman’s)
3 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
About 1 1⁄2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
About 1 1⁄2 cups rice bran oil or canola oil for frying

For the mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

For the crab cakes: In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, bell pepper, celery, onion, parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; mix well. Add the panko gradually, a few tablespoons at a time, until the consistency is dry and slightly tacky to the touch. Form into 8 cakes about 21⁄2 inches wide and coat with more panko. 

In a large skillet, heat 1⁄4 inch oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the crab cakes, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding pan. Cook until nicely browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Using a slotted metal spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly. Place 2 crab cakes on each of 4 salad plates, and serve with the sherry mayonnaise on the side. Makes 4 first-course servings