With the holiday season right around the corner, Scott Rosenberg of Il Figlio Enoteca in Fishkill shares his recipe for crab cakes, one of his favorites from a beloved family cookbook. “My sister Tara spearheaded and created it after my grandmother passed away,” he says. “There are many great entertainers and cooks in my family, and we wanted to preserve some of our famous recipes and memories.”
While crab cakes are delicious on their own, they also serve as an excellent starter to a holiday meal. Serve them along these roasted Brussels sprouts and this pumpkin macaroni and cheese for a showstopping spread that will leave everyone dreaming about it for days.
Scott’s Crab Cakes
“My family still to this day requests these crab cakes whenever I host a holiday dinner. Serve them alongside a simple lemon aioli.”
6 slices, thick slab bacon, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
16 oz. crabmeat (can be canned)
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Dash of Tabasco, to taste (optional)
¾ cup plain breadcrumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 cups olive oil, for frying
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until golden brown, about 6–8 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook until softened. Set aside in a mixing bowl.
- Once the mixture is cool, mix in crab, mayo, Dijon, Old Bay, honey, Tabasco (if using), and breadcrumbs until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too dry, add more mayo. If it’s too wet, add extra breadcrumbs.
- Make 2-ounce patties of the crab mixture (using an ice scream scooper as a measure).
- Place whisked eggs, flour, and panko breadcrumbs in three separate bowls next to each other. Using an assembly line formation, dip the crab cakes into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Transfer to a large plate.
- In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 1 cup olive oil. Gently add a few crab cakes at a time (you’ll be working in batches; replenish oil as needed). Fry on each side for about 1–2 minutes, or until golden brown and place on a paper-towel lined platter.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Crab cakes can be made one day ahead; refrigerating patties after molding and fry right before guests arrive.
Look out for La Sorella (“the sister” in Italian), an eatery that will open right next door to Rosenberg’s Italian bistro early next year. “It’s a reference to my dear sister and will also serve as a ‘sister’ restaurant to Il Figlio Enoteca,” he explains, “This elegant café and mercato will serve breakfast and lunch six days a week.” In the morning, expect savory and sweet pastries, frittatas, quiches, and espresso drinks from an Italian barista station. When lunch comes around, “fresh focaccia, salads, and pressed paninis will take center stage,” says Rosenberg. Plus: there will be wine, beer, and a selection of prepared foods to grab and go. Stay updated by following @ilfigliofishkill on Instagram.