I am a crab cake snob. There, I said it. As much as I love crab cakes, I seldom order them in restaurants. You see, I don't like a bunch of "stuff" in my crab cake that's not crab. No green peppers. No onions. No parsley. I love the taste of the crab itself, and that's what I like my crab cakes to taste like. I want them to taste like the ones my mom makes. Like the ones that my grandma made when I was a little girl visiting her and my granddaddy in the little fishing village by the "crickshore."
My grandpa was a waterman, and blue crabs (callinectes sapidus) were plentiful in the summertime. He'd send a bushel basket of them home with us, their claws scrabbling against the wooden slats. We had to be careful because those claws would pinch! We had to cook the crabs alive- that's the part I never liked. Crabs that were blue when they went into the pot came out of the pot a gorgeous orangy-red color, and were ceremoniously placed in the middle of our newspaper-covered table to cool enough to be devoured.
While everyone else was picking and eating crabs, my mom was usually picking out crabmeat and setting it aside to make crab cakes or deviled crab, another favorite. The following recipe for crab cakes is the one I grew up eating. I made some last week from crabs my brother shared with me, and we enjoyed them with cole slaw, sweet corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes. Summer eating doesn't get much better than that, does it?
1 lb. fresh crabmeat
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
3-4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
dash of Worcestershire sauce
pinch of sugar
cayenne pepper to taste (I use about 1/4 teaspoon)
salt to taste- Depending on how they're cooked, some crabs may need more salt than others.We don't eat much salt, so I find that the salt the crabs are cooked with is sufficient and I don't add any extra.
Pick through crab meat to remove any bits of shell.
Hold slices of bread under running water to wet. (Careful- they get mushy quickly!) Gently squeeze slices to remove most of the water. You don't want them dripping with water, but you also don't want to squeeze them into a hard lump.
Put moistened bread into a bowl with the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, baking soda, Worcestershire, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until mushy.
Add crab meat and gently mix until combined. (I like to leave my crab in bigger pieces so I mix it as little as possible.)
Form the crab mixture into cakes. (I use about 1/3 cup per cake.)
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with vegetable oil. Heat oil until hot. Place crab cakes in hot oil, reduce heat to medium and cook until golden brown, turning once.
Remove to paper towel to drain.
This post shared with: