2020 feels like it passed in a complete blur. There was very little joy and normalcy and I know that has taken a toll on so many. Now that I’m vaccinated (as is my entire friend group!), I finally felt comfortable having a gathering and, y’all, IT GAVE ME LIFE. It was a shining beacon of hope that there will be more moments like this in the future. I whipped up these incredible Mexican crab cakes and paired them with one of my favorite wines: Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio. Dining al fresco was the perfect backdrop for enjoying time with friends amidst amazing food and wine.
With National Pinot Grigio day coming up fast on May 17th, you can celebrate too! Grab a couple of bottles of Mezzacorona, whip up these super simple Mexican crab cakes, and instantly be transported to paradise!
Why is Pinot Grigio the ideal pairing for Mexican Crab Cakes?
First, white wine and seafood have always been a match made in heaven! The delicate flavor of Pinot Grigio doesn’t overwhelm the crab and instead enhances the sweet undertones in the crab meat. I personally love pairing a crisp white wine with foods that have a tiny bit of heat and fat in them. The flavors of the Pinot Grigio really cut through the heat of the poblano aioli. Try pairing the Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio with other dishes like: pork Panang curry, coconut milk braised chicken, or chile-lime shrimp tacos. Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio will be your go-to pairing for so many foods and occasions!
Why choose mezzacorona?
Mezzacorona has been crafting beautiful Italian wines since 1904 and their unique location in close proximity to the Alps makes the soil ideal for wine! Cultivated using the traditional pergola style, the grapes are entirely hand-harvested at optimum ripeness to produce a perfectly balanced crisp and fresh Pinot Grigio. Mezzacorona is also certified by the Non-GMO project so you can ensure that what you’re consuming is of the highest quality. Try and sip and be instantly transported to Trentino, Italy! Get more information about Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio here.
What’s the ideal temperature for serving pinot grigio?
Great question! The ideal serving temperature for Pinot Grigio is between 50-54 degrees F. Most home refrigerators are anywhere from 38-41 degrees F, so be sure to let your Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio sit out of the fridge for a little bit prior to serving. Always serve Pinot Grigio in a white wine glass!
Pairing charcuterie with Mezzacorona pinot grigio
Mezzacorona is the ideal companion to any charcuterie board! The fresh flavors are perfect to balance out some spicy salamis and rich cheeses. Never crafted your own charcuterie board? No problem! Check out my step-by-step guide here and you’ll be ready to host your own National Pinot Grigio day party in style.
What kind of crab is best for Mexican crab cakes?
Make sure you’re using lump crab meat for these Mexican crab cakes. Claw and other crab meats are definitely not my favorite and I don’t recommend them. Take a trip to your favorite grocery store and speak to the most knowledgeable person behind the seafood counter. Lump crabmeat is composed of smaller or broken pieces of jumbo lump, along with other smaller pieces of body meat. Like jumbo lump, it’s white and has a delicate flavor. Because lump is a mixture of large and small pieces, it’s a good choice for seafood salads or crab cakes. They’ll be able to recommend the best lump crab meat whether it’s been sold by the pound or in smaller containers. Your crab should never smell fishy or not fresh.
Aioli can either refer to a sauce made from garlic, lemon, and olive oil in the Mediterranean. French and Spanish versions incorporate egg yolks to make more of a mayonnaise sauce. In this instance, we’re cheating a bit and using high-quality mayo to make the poblano aioli. It’s my new favorite sauce and be everything from a spread on your burger to a dip for your French fries. It’s especially perfect with Mexican crab cakes because it adds a little spice and acidity that balances everything out so perfectly. Once you’ve had the chance to try it, I believe it’ll become a regular condiment staple in your kitchen!
Why use fresh breadcrumbs?
Fresh breadcrumbs are always going to be superior, in my opinion. They contain enough moisture to not dry out the crab cakes while still holding everything together. Canned breadcrumbs are like sawdust to me and they don’t provide much except a sandy texture. When I have leftover bread, I make a large batch and keep some in my freezer.
How to make fresh breadcrumbs
I make sourdough bread often and whenever I have leftover slices that are maybe going a bit stale, I tear them into pieces and throw them in the food processor, and pulse until you get fine crumbs. You can use any kind of slightly stale bread for this! Throw all the bread crumbs in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze until they’re needed. You should absolutely not sleep on using fresh breadcrumbs for these Mexican crab cakes.
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This recipe is part of a sponsored campaign with Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio. Sponsored posts and brand partnerships (with brands that align with my values and commitment to quality) allow me to keep providing quality recipes at no cost to you! All opinions are my own in regards to any products or brand that I may highlight.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:
1 lb. lump crab meat
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 Serrano Chile, seeds removed and finely minced
1 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup high-quality mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Ghee or clarified butter, for frying
1 poblano chile
1 1/4 cup high-quality mayonnaise
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Make the aioli: using a gas stove, place the poblano chile over the flame, rotating occasionally, until the poblano is black all over. Place the chile in a ziplock bag and seal, until cooled to room temperature. If you don’t have a gas stove, this can be accomplished by placing the poblano on a baking sheet under the broiler, rotating, until charred all over. Once the pepper is cool, peel off the charred parts and any remaining skin. Roughly chop and place in a food processor with the remaining aioli ingredients. Pulse until well mixed and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the crab cakes: gently fold the crab with the remaining ingredients. Take care to not break up the crab too much when you mix it, you want nice big pieces.
- Using your hands, or a small ring mold, gently shape into about 6-7 crab cakes. Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of clarified butter in the pan. Once the pan is hot, gently place the crab cakes in the pan without overcrowding them. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet. Fry the crab cakes for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until very golden brown, remove from the pan, and set aside. Serve right away with poblano aioli and extra lemon wedges.