This recipe is a compromise because the original is made with salt cod, a fish most chefs and some Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese adore but that we cannot sell to the average American diner. Since we are in San Francisco, home of the famous crab, we substituted crabmeat for the cod. Now we cannot keep up with the demand for these cakes.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and celery; cook until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the dry mustard and cayenne; stir well and cook 3 more minutes. Let cool completely.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the dry bread crumbs, oil, and aioli to the onion mixture and combine well. Shape into 16 patties, about
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add as many crab cakes as will fit without crowding and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Serve hot with red pepper aioli and sauteed Swiss chard or other greens.
© 1998 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.