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Stony Hill's Favorite Crab Cakes

  (Serves 4 (makes 8 small cakes))

Our California Dungeness crab season traditionally opens on November 15 and runs into the following April, giving us devotees five precious months each year to savor the sweet succulence of this Pacific Coast crustacean. Some of our most delicious meals at Stony Hill include crab bisque, crab salad, crab sandwiches, and our favorite crab cake recipe. These little cakes on a bed of dressed greens make a tasty first course, especially with a dollop of Meyer lemon aioli. They Meyer lemons are much milder than the Eureka lemons and their season conveniently coincides with crab season. They add a tartness and piquancy to the dish, which balances the sweetness of the meat. And don't forget the Stony Hill White Riesling!

Ingredients

Crab Cakes:
1/2 pound fresh Dungeness crab
1/4 cup minced apple
1/4 minced red or yellow pepper
2 tbsp. minced green onion
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
2 tbsp. bread crumbs
4 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of Salt

Meyer Lemon Aioli:
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
1 garlic clove
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp. minced cilantro
1 tbsp. minced parsley
Dash of hot sauce
Pinch of salt

Preparation

Crab Cakes:
Prepare the Meyer Lemon aioli and refrigerate.
Wash the crabmeat in cold water to remove any salty taste and pat dry.
Add the crabmeat, apple, pepper, green onion, cilantro, and parsley to a large bowl and mix well.  Add a pinch of salt to taste.
Add 2 tbsp. of the aioli and the breadcrumbs to the crab mixture to bind it together.  Form into 8 equal cakes.  Cover each one thoroughly with bread crumbs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat olive oil in large frying pan.  Without crowding the crab cakes, cook them a medium heat on both sides until crispy and brown, about 10 minutes.
Top each cake with a dollop of aioli and serve as a first course on a bed of dressed salad greens.

Meyer Lemon Aioli:
Place lemon juice, garlic clove, and egg yolk in a blender.  Blend at medium speed and then slowly dribble in the olive oil.  If the mixture becomes too thick, thin with the hot water.  Finally, add cilantro, parsely, hot sauce, and salt to taste.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.