Simple Crabcakes (makes 4 cakes)
2 tablespoons finely-minced onion
2 tablespoons finely-minced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon butter
1 pound lump crabmeat, thawed if frozen, checked for shell pieces, and the very large pieces of crabmeat broken in two
1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons mustard (preferably Dijon)
2 tablespoons flour
About a quarter cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably Panko
Olive oil for frying
Salt and freshly-ground pepper
Melt the butter in a medium-sized non-stick skillet, and sauté the onion and pepper for a few minutes, just to soften them without browning. Transfer them to a bowl and let them cool for a few minutes.
To that bowl add the crab, egg/mustard mixture, flour, some pepper and about a half-teaspoon of salt and then stir everything together gently until it’s just combined. Shape the mixture into four crab cakes, and make them flatter rather than rounder. Put the cakes on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour.
Heat some oil in the same skillet in which you cooked the vegetables. Scatter about a tablespoon of the breadcrumbs on a small plate and gently press one side of a crab cake into the crumbs. Then remove the cake, rearrange the remaining crumbs, and press them onto the other side. Repeat for the remaining crabcakes. Fry the cakes until the bottom is browned, about 6 minutes or so. Then gently flip them over and fry the other side. Serve hot.