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Hot Baby Crab Burgers in a Pink Dress

This recipe is a result of a few business trips in the southern states that I took with a good friend and co-worker who is originally from the Florida east coast. Without fail, when it was time to have lunch or dinner, she would insist on finding a restaurant that served poor boy, or ‘Po Boy,’ sandwiches. And, as long as the restaurant also served crab cakes or she crab soup, I was in agreement. In the beginning, I couldn’t figure out why she was so determined to eat perfectly good shrimp or crab on a bun, but after trying it, I soon discovered the reason for her determination. The problem with the Po Boy sandwich (in my mind) was that it generally lacked a distinctive flavor. I began experimenting with different combinations of seafood (not forgetting my love for crab cakes) and found this recipe to be the best of both worlds.


Heavy aluminum foil
1. Colavita Olive Oil for brushing foil and buns
Burger Ingredients
2. 2 c lump crab meat, well cleaned and drained
3. 1 cup plus 3 T mayonnaise (reserve 1 c for topping)
4. 1 egg, beaten
5. The cleaned, raw kernels of 2 ears of sweet corn
6. 2 T minced shallot
7. 1/4 c finely diced jalapeno pepper
8. The juice and zest of 1 fresh lime (reserve half for topping)
9. 2 c crushed corn flakes (reserve)
10. 1 t freshly ground salt
11. 2 t coarsely ground black pepper
The remaining crushed corn flakes (1 c) in which to ‘roll’ or bread the patties
Pink Dress Sauce
The remaining mayonnaise (1 c)
The remaining juice and zest of a fresh lime
12. ¼ c hot sauce 
Roll/Bun, Assembly
Colavita Olive Oil for brushing buns
13. 6 smallish fresh, soft, white dinner rolls, split
14. ½ c chopped, fresh cilantro
15. 12 small lettuce leaves (arugula or butter)


Set grill temperature to med-low. Layer two heavy sheets of aluminum foil on top of middle grill grate and brush generously with oil. Close lid. Burgers: In chilled, large glass or ceramic bowl, gently, but thoroughly combine crab, mayonnaise, egg, corn, shallot, jalapeno pepper, half the lime juice and zest, corn flakes, salt, and black pepper. Shape into six compact patties. Roll or dredge each patty in remaining corn flakes and place on heated, oiled aluminum foil. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes or until patty bottoms are crispy. Turn carefully with spatula and cook another 10 minutes (with the grill lid closed) until patties are crisp and the shape is firmly set. Pink Dress Sauce: While the crab patties are cooking, mix the pink dress sauce: In a small bowl, mix remaining mayonnaise (1 c), remaining lime juice and zest, and hot sauce. Beat with fork or whisk until silky smooth and of a consistent pink color. Toast the Rolls: When the crab cakes are done (total of 20 minutes) Load a brush with oil and slather the spilt side of all roll halves. Grill oil side down on bottom rack until toasted and grill marks appear (2 minutes). Assemble the Burgers: Place a patty on each roll/bun bottom, topping each with a dollop of pink dress sauce followed by a generous pinch of cilantro. Place two lettuce leaves on top followed by the remaining bun half. Serve immediately.