Maryland Style Crabcakes

March 22, 2012Katie

Crab cakes.

Just the mere utterance of the two words sets one’s mouth to watering.

The best ones contain little filler and much crab…and good crab at that.

Save the crab sticks for sushi my friends, and use none of that pinky-orange fake stuff for crab cakes.

My girls and I grilled some steaks and roasted some butternut squash last night.  And we also made crab cakes. We carried our plates out to the patio, lit a lantern and chatted, like only girls can.

And all the men and boys said AMEN.

These were fairly easy and straight-forward to make.  Take 2 slices of bread (I had wheat, so that’s what I used, but white would probably be even lighter). I prefer fresh over dried, just for moistness reasons, but you could probably use dried.

Put them into a food processor and pulse them until you get pretty fine crumbs.  I wouldn’t use dried bread crumbs in my crab cakes because I love the moistness of fresh.  Dump them right into one pound of good crab meat.  Mucho important!  Don’t break up the crab meat if you can help it.  Big chunks are needed here for the best crab cakes.

Now for the crab meat.  Lump is arguably the best and sweetest.  You can get lump for about $15 at Sam’s.  Not bad for making 5-6 good sized crab cakes.  My favorite place in town for crab cakes sells one towering one for $21.95 and my next favorite place gives you two pretty small ones for $15.  So to me, $15 is a bargain.

Add in one teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.

Now, in a separate bowl, crack in one egg, two tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 generous tablespoon of a strong mustard, (like Dijon or stone ground),  one teaspoon of hot sauce, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.

Take a whisk and whisk it up until the lumps in the mayo smooth out.

Then pour this mixture over your crab meat mixture.

Now, this part is super important! You just want to barely mix this together, ever so gently, so as to keep the crab meat in the largest pieces possible.  You could use a large spoon, but the easiest and most-controllable method is going to be your own two hands. Begin to just fold the mixture, very gently, over on itself and mix it all together as easy and as little as possible, until it’s all mixed together.

Then take about a half cup of the mixture and just barely begin to press it to form a patty.

Pack this very very lightly together, just so it holds, then place it on a lined cookie sheet.  Continue to do the same with the rest of your mixture until you have them evenly sized (I made 6).  At this point, it’s good to chill them so that they hold together really well (for about an hour).  When take them out of the refrigerator, have a tray full of panko bread crumbs (you can find these near the regular bread crumbs in your market), ready and just press the cake down into them.

Then flip it over and press the other side down into the panko as well and kind of sprinkle the panko on any spots you might have missed and pat it gently in.

If the cakes break up any, just push them back together again.  Then heat up a large frying pan with about 1/4 of a cup of olive oil over medium high heat. Place the crab cakes in with plenty of room in between them to turn them, and let them get all nice and golden brown.

Let them go about 3 minutes on the first side, then carefully flip them over.

Let them cook on this side for another 3 minutes.  Then remove them to a platter.

Oh baby, do you see those big chunks of crab sticking out the sides? That’s goodness, I tell you.

Feel like frying is wrong?  Try baking them in an oven on a lined sheet (with no oil) and no panko and see what happens (15 minutes per side).  They are fantastic that way as well (in fact, I think I prefer them that way).

We made a Garlic Old Bay Aoili to dip these in by combining 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning, and 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic together.

Serve the crab cakes piping hot, with a bowl of the aoili for dipping.

Next to a nicely grilled New York Strip steak?  Surf n Turf at its finest…

It was a good night on the patio.

Katie’s Printable Recipe – Maryland Style Crabcakes

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