Clean the crabmeat of all shell fragments without breaking or crumbling the delicate lumps.
Place the bread in a food processor and, using the metal blade, process until finely crumbled. Measure and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs to use in the filling. The remaining bread crumbs will be used to coat the crab cakes.
Mix the crabmeat with the sweet peppers, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro leaves, and mayonnaise. Add the "Old Bay" seasoning powder, 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Mix well, then refrigerate for twenty minutes before continuing.
Cover a work surface with waxed paper sprinkled with the reserved bread crumbs. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, form eight equal-size portions of crabmeat. With the palm of your hand pat each portion into a disk-shaped cake approximately 3/4-inch thick. It is important for the crab cakes to be the same thickness so that they will cook uniformly. Press each cake into the bread crumbs, turning them so they coat evenly on all sides. Refrigerate for at least an hour to prevent them from crumbling during cooking.
No more than half an hour before you plan to serve the crab cakes, add enough oil to cover the bottom of an oven-proof saute pan. Heat until just before it begins to smoke. Add the crab cakes gently, being careful not to crowd the pan. (Cook them in two batches if necessary.) When the crab cakes are well browned on both sides, place in a 375 degree F. oven for six minutes to ensure that they are fully cooked and hot at the center. Serve with mesclun salad, chili mayonnaise and garnish with finely chopped tomato.
Courtesy of Michael Lomonaco