When one goes on a diet like the SCD where large swaths of the American/Western diet are jettisoned, one of the first things people do is try to create foods like they used to eat. These don’t always turn out well. Making bread is one that usually disappoints first – it’s usually flat and dense. Doable, but it’s not like a soft pretzel or spongy bun. I’ve made some pretty good batches of ketchup – and some that were, well, let’s say “off.”
When you have a full family around you who cares about you and wants to see you happy, they will approach you with recipes from time to time, hoping that they will work out. Sometimes there’s a key ingredient that you can’t have that leaves the whole recipe wanting, or it calls for something like cream of mushroom soup, for which there is no easy substitution.
About a year and a half ago, I get an e-mail from my wife with the message “Do you think we could use your almond flour as a binder or would that not work? Change the taste?” and a link to a Disney blog recipe for lump crab cakes from Steakhouse 55 in the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. I smiled at her kindness and clicked the link, bracing for one of the previous scenarios. I glanced over the ingredients list and got more excited as I read farther down and everything was “legal”. (Those of you on the diet know how this feels!) At the end of the ingredients list, there were only 2 non-legal items I could see: sriracha in the tartar sauce (sriracha usually has sugar in it), and panko crumbs in the crab cakes.
I giddily responded that almond flour should work fine, so let’s try it! As for the tartar sauce, my family’s not big on sauces anyway, so I figured I could try the tartar with just a dash of Tabasco in place of the sriracha.
In short – they’re *fantastic*. We don’t have them often because crab is expensive (duh) and they’re also *very* rich and filling – so much so that we only use 1/2 cup of mayo in the recipe instead of the 3/4 cup that is called for. But they’re crab cakes! Some of the best I’ve had, actually. So thanks, Disney! And a big thanks to my wife for her constant support. It’s not easy living with someone on the SCD, but she’s always been supportive. <3
For Tartar Sauce: At least 1 hour before serving, mix well 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle, 1 tsp Old Bay, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp chopped fresh chives, 1/8 tsp ground black pepper (and 1 tsp pepper sauce if wanted). Cover and refrigerate until serving.
SCD-house 55 Crab Cakes
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp Old Bay (or other seafood seasoning)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives (we use Litehouse freeze-dried if we don’t have fresh around)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (my family is sensitive to capsaicin so I usually leave this out)
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells (we buy Phillip’s brand at Costco, much cheaper than in the grocery store)
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Mix egg, mayo, Old Bay, Dijon, lemon juice, chives, (cayenne, if using), and black pepper in a medium bowl.
- Fold crab gently into mayo mixture. Be careful not to break up up the crab!
- Fold in the almond flour just until nicely blended — do not over mix.
- Take a table spoon and scoop out about the size of a golf ball, pressing them into cakes.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Cook crab cakes 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until crab cakes are golden brown on both sides. (Temperature may need adjusting)
- Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.