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Macadamia Nut Coated Crab Cakes

1 pound lump crab meat, fresh or frozen and defrosted
1/4 medium red onion, cut into fine dice
1/4 medium red bell pepper, cut into fine dice
2 medium ribs celery, cut into fine dice
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon dried Garlic and Herb Seasoning
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups Panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
2/3 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped or crushed
1/4 cup vegetable oil, more if necessary

Pick through the crab meat to remove any bits of shell and cartilage.
Drain well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the crab meat and the
next seven ingredients. Mix well. Let stand 30 minutes to allow
the ingredients to get acquainted.

Place the flour in one bowl, the eggs in another and the Panko
bread crumbs mixed with the macadamia nuts in a third.

Divide the crab mixture into 8 equal portions and shape each into
a patty about 1/2 inch thick. (The mixture is light and will tend
to separate. Keep pressing each patty firmly together.) Dip each
into the flour to coat. Next dip into the beaten eggs and then
roll carefully in the crumb mixtu re to cover well. Place on a
large plate and allow to dry in the air 30 minutes.

In a large, heavy skillet, beat the oil over medium heat. Cook
the patties without crowding until desired brownness, turning once,
about 2 minutes per side. This may have to be done in batches.
Watch the heat, and reduce it if necessary, since the nuts will
tend to brown more quickly than the crumbs.

Transfer to paper towels to drain. If cooking them in more than
one batch, keep them warm by covering them lightly with aluminum
foil. Serve with black bean salsa. Makes 4 servings.


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