Since my life has revolved around our boat, and of course the beginning of crab season, this week, it seems rather fitting to share my love of crab cakes.
I discovered crab cakes at Anthony’s Restaurant. Oh, they are so good there. It never even occurred to me to attempt them on my own but our friends took us crabbing for our very first time about three years ago. I had to do something with all that crab meat. The first attempt wasn’t too bad. We went crabbing our second time last year, when we bought our own boat. I attempted crab cakes many times over this past year but today I was determined to get it right.
For Christmas, my husband bought me the book, "Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives, by Guy Dieri. I remembered seeing a crab cake recipe so I thought this would be a great time to try it and share with you. If you click the book link, the Barnes & Noble book look actually has the crab cake recipe as a featured page.
Making the patties is pretty gooey, but it’s worth it.
I make up as many patties as I can. Two 7inch+ crabs was about one pound of meat and made about 18 three inch patties. The patties are coated in fine cracker crumbs and then fried in butter. Do you see why I like them so much?
Wouldn’t these cook up so nicely in a Le Creuset pan? This cast iron skillet works nicely, though. I did freeze some patties so I will see how they cook up after thawing.
The recipe is Mike’s Maine Crab Cakes
A1 Diner in Gardiner, ME
1 1/2 lbs fresh crabmeat
1 1/2 c fresh (or frozen and thawed) corn, which I nearly forgot and added as the last ingredient. Didn’t seem to cause any problems.
3/4 c diced red bell pepper, chopped celery, and yellow onion- each
1 1/2 c mayonnaise
3/4 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups finely ground saltine cracker crumbs, divided
2 Tbls unsalted butter, more as needed
Mix crabmeat, corn, vegetables, mayo and mustard in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in beaten egg and 1 1/2 c cracker crumbs, taking care not to overwork the mixture. (this seems kind of hard but I managed.)
Form three inch patties from about 3 oz of mixture. Coat in cracker crumbs. This is the part that has been pretty hard for me in the past. Today I tried something different. Instead of getting my fingers completely overloaded with crab mix goop, I set the patty on top of the crumbs with a spatula, then flipped it carefully with a fork. Once it was coated enough to not make my fingers sticky, I picked it up to shake off any excess. Set the patties aside and heat up the skillet.
Keep adding butter as necessary to give the patties that nice, buttery crust. They should cook in about six minutes. I started my heat at med-high but had to adjust it down to med by the time the patties were cooked on one side.
There are lots of remoulade sauce or aioli recipes, but these cakes were so delicious by themselves. Even my husband was impressed.
As a side, a second recipe from the book was a snap. Cheryl’s Coleslaw, of Thee Pitts Again Restaurant in Glendale, Arizona.
Chop one head of cabbage, 1/2 large onion and 1/2 green or red pepper. Toss. Mix together three shredded carrots, 3-4 Tbls sugar (to taste), 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 c apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbls celery salt, 1 Tbls salt ( I used half) and 1 Tbls ground pepper. Toss the slaw mix with the dressing. Let this sit in the fridge for at least two hours.
We ate the coleslaw pretty soon after we made it and it was very tastey but definately would have been better when the sitting had broken down the cabbage a bit more.
I like this recipe enough to make it a standard but I think the next time, I will add purple cabbage for the variety, color and taste.
Overall, this is one of my best dinners. I think. I guess I better ask my husband. He seemed happy.