By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – The Super Bowl is a certainly a big sporting event, but it’s also an excuse to throw a big party. If you’re interested in changing up your menu this year and going beyond nachos and chicken wings, Paula Ebben got a great idea from Lisa Wisel of the Vine Ripe Grill and Catering in Brookline.

Wisel says Crab Cakes are a great alternative for a gathering, and can be served as an appetizer, slider, or full dinner. She says they’re probably easier to make than you ever thought.

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Crab Cakes

½ cup minced shallot

¼ cup red pepper brunoise

¼ cup celery brunoise

2T Mayo

Juice and zest of half a lemon

1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs, plus more for breading station

1 egg lightly beaten, plus more for breading station

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

1T Coriander, toasted then ground

1t smoked paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1t Dijon Mustard

Chopped Parsley

Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Flour for breading station

Canola Oil, for frying

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports

Directions:

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Sweat shallots, red pepper, and celery until they soften a little bit and the shallots become translucent. Try to keep the celery a little crunchy for texture. Put off to the side to cool down before adding it to the crab meat mixture.

After the celery, shallot and red pepper have cooled down, put it into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except for the flour, and gently fold together so you don’t break up the crab meat. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Fry off a little cake to make sure it tastes the way you want it to. Adjust seasoning accordingly.

Set up a standard breading station with egg, flour and panko breadcrumbs.

Form crab cakes that are about ½ an inch thick and dredge in flour first, then the egg, and finally the panko breadcrumbs. Put the crab cakes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld and prevent the crab cake from breaking up when frying.

Shallow fry the crab cakes in the canola oil in a pan on medium heat. You don’t want the pan too hot because the panko will burn quickly, you want it to sizzle lightly when placed in the oil. Serve immediately. You can do this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator (or freezer). Thaw, then bake in the oven at 350 until hot – about 10 minutes.

You can serve the crabcakes with either of the two following toppings:

Blood Orange and Arugula Salad

2 Blood Oranges segmented and juiced

4 oz Baby Arugula

1 Scallion cut on a large bias

EVOO

Kosher Salt and and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Toss blood oranges with the arugula and scallions. Lightly dress the greens with a high quality EVOO, kosher salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Chives Aioli

Yield: 1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups Mayo

½ cup chopped chives

Lemon zest and juice, from half a lemon (you can add more lemon juice if you want it to be more tart)

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

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Combine above ingredients in a measuring cup to make it easier to pour into a squeeze bottle. Season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate.

Paula Ebben