1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs (plus extra for coating)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon chopped fresh basil
¼ cup vegetable oil for frying
Chipotle Lemon Mayo
Combine the mayonnaise, chipotle powder, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Whisk until incorporated. Refrigerate mixture until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the red onion, red pepper, eggplant, salt, and pepper. Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire, Tabasco, Old Bay, parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook for another 5 minutes before removing the pan from the heat to cool. Meanwhile, combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, eggs, mustard, and basil in a large bowl. Add the cooked mixture and mix well until incorporated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Form 3.5-ounce crab cakes, shaping them into round patties. Pour the extra breadcrumbs into a bowl. Place each crab cake in the bowl, coating each side with breadcrumbs. In a 12-inch frying pan, heat the ¼ cup of oil over medium heat. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Keep warm in the oven until all of the cakes are cooked.
Spoon the mayo over each crab cake, and sprinkle each with parsley and lemon zest. Alternatively, serve the crab cakes on a platter with the mayo on the side.
I use 1 lb of lump crabmeat and 1 lb of jumbo lump crabmeat. The lump meat is somewhat shredded while the jumbo lump meat is kept in whole pieces. Combining the two creates the desired texture for these crab cakes.