A friend from Maryland invited us to a crab boil. We spread newspapers out on the table and crack open the crabs with our Old Bay seasoned hands, savoring the tender white morsels from the crab. I have never had so much fun eating crab. Crabcakes offer a more refined way of eating crab, make wonderful appetizers if you make them small, or a nice light dinner served with a salad.
Tips on making crabcakes: Costco has great lump crab in one pound tubs.
1) The best crabcakes are mostly crab, so I recommend not using too much bread. You only need enough to help hold everything together. In terms of a ratio, if I had 1 1/2 cups of crabmeat, for example, I would use about 1 1/2 cups of freshly made bread crumbs. I do not use dry breadcrumbs that come in a cardboard container at the grocery store, which are much too finely ground and dusty for this use.
2) Many people add worcheshire sauce, and I do not because it has anchovies in it and makes your crab taste fishy.
3) Use regular mayonnaise, not the squeezable stuff because it is too thin.
4) Mix the mayonnaise and other seasonings together first, so you can taste it and adjust the seasonings before you add the mayonnaise dressing to the crab and breadcrumbs.
5) Use a light hand when mixing the cakes together. You don’t want to break up the crab too much.
6) You can use a mix of shrimp with your crab cakes and even white fish. All are good.
7) You can mix up your crab cakes and shape them, keep covered in the refrigerator until party time and then fry them.
8) You can serve these with tartar, shrimp cocktail, or remoulade sauce, but I like them with just a squirt of lemon or lime juice and I love them with a ceasar salad.
Makes about 24 crabcakes
2 16 oz. cans of jumbo lump crabmeat (you can replace part of the crab with cooked shrimp or cooked white fish)
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from good bread, crust removed. (use a food processor to make crumbs; you may need a little more or a little less)
3 small scallions, finely chopped (the white and the green tops)
1/4 cup Fresh cilantro or parsley chopped
2 T Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise (if you use the squeezable mayo, reduce to 1/2 cup)
2 tsp. dijon mustard
Squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice
Optional: Splash of tabasco or you can use finely diced jalapenos (no seeds)
Salt and pepper
In a bowl, mix all the seasonings and mayonnaise. Then add crab being careful not to break it up. Lastly add breadcrumbs until the crab will let you shape it into 1/4 cup balls, form small patties and roll into any remaining breadcrumbs. Place on a non-stick sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for one hour to set. You can make this up to 24 hours in advance.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add a thin film of olive oil into the pan. Add crabcakes to the pan, being careful not to break them. Turn down heat to medium and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. If you’re cooking in batches, put the finished crabcakes in a 200 degree oven so they stay warm.
Serve on top of herb salad with a lime vinegarette.