Recipe: Haven Cafe’s Crab And Shrimp Cakes
If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. Chef/owner Shelly Williams shares the recipes of some of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.
Sweet juicy crab meets fresh briny shrimp: it’s one of those perfect friendships, two distinct personalities that are happy together. Mix it up with some lemon, fresh herbs and mayo? Perfection!
This recipe has had many stops and starts. I began making them about 20 years ago in my home kitchen. Over the years, I added a little of this and changed a little of that. Today, they are one of the most requested appetizers on Haven’s catering menu.
Be sure you find the highest quality crab meat and the freshest shrimp, because the end result will totally depend on it. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I have. Twenty years is a lot of crab cakes but they’re like a lifelong friend — I still love them!
Crab and Shrimp Cakes
Makes 8 cakes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
½ cup scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 tbs mustard powder
¼ cup shallots, minced
1 tbs lemon zest
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb crab meat (carefully picked over for shells)
1 lb shrimp, (de-veined, shelled, tails removed), roughly chopped
1 cup panko
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
½ cup vegetable oil, for frying
1. Combine eggs, mayonnaise, scallions, mustard powder, shallots, lemon zest, Worcestershire, ¾ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in a large bowl.
2. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the crab meat, shrimp and bread crumbs just until combined.
3. Form the mixture into 8 individual patties and place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 8 hours before cooking.
4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the rack.
5. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Gently place 4 cakes in the skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, gently turn the cakes and cook the second side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the crab cakes to the warmed baking sheet to keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining crab cakes. Serve immediately with aioli.
Makes ½ cup sauce
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
2 tsp chipotle in adobo, minced
Zest and juice of one lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator.)