Crab Cakes – none of that filler stuff!

Oh again, I profess my love for crab. If you are allergic, I am quite sad for you. This will be my last post for crab for a while, so just stick it out!

Yesterday it was crab dip. Today it is the glorious crab cake.  Most people are particular about their crab cakes and for good reason.  There should not be a bunch of filler of bread crumbs and such.  There should never be anything that even resembles faux crab.  While I would love to be able to buy fresh crabmeat, I don’t live close enough to the ocean for such glorious things.  But PLEASE do not purchase canned crabmeat for this recipe.  If you have to, make sure that it is at least lump or claw meat. 

While living elsewhere, I discovered a brand called Blue Star.   They are headquartered in Miami but sell their products all over the US.  Their website is clunky and a bit non consumer friendly, but I will look past that since they sell crab meat in my local grocery store.  Do you want to know what it looks like? 

lump-meat6oz-emboss

I know, not pretty.  But it is the best option for a reasonable price. 

Because that little pouch turns into this.  These gloriously tasty crab cakes.  Crab cakes that taste like restaurant quality.  Crab cakes that don’t have a ton of filler.  Crab cakes that are making my mouth water as I type and look at that picture. 

crab-cakes

 

Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes – adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Serves 3-4

1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs (I like fresh, but any will work)
3 tbsp mayonnaise or salad dressing ( I like Miracle Whip)
2 tbsp onion, finely minced
1/2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb crab meat
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, Old Bay and pepper. 
3. Gently add crab meat and fold into mixture.
4. Shape into 8 – 2 inch rounds.
5. Bake on a greased baking pan for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.  You can also pan fry these in 2 tsp of oil, but I find that they cook more evenly and maintain their shape much better in the oven. 

I like to serve these with some crispy baked fries.  Slice one potato per person into 6-8 wedges.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.  Bake at 450 for 45-60 minutes, turning once, depending on desired crispness. 

Joe’s Maryland Style Crab Dip

Growing up close to the Chesapeake Bay spoiled me when it came to crab dishes.  It was nothing to buy a bushel of crabs, straight from the Bay and head home to eat them sitting on the deck.  It was important to cover the all surrounding areas with layers and layers of newspaper, have a roll of paper towels in the middle of everyone, either a small hammer or a crab claw cracker and then just pick away.  You needed to be prepared to cut yourself with some of the shell and have Old Bay seasoning get into it and burn tears to your eyes.   Lots of people have told me that it is too much work to eat Maryland Blue Crabs, but I strongly disagree. 

Every summer, I dream about getting a bushel of crabs and sitting on the deck. But during the months that surround crab feasting times, I have to make due with creamy crab soup, crab cakes and this warm crab dip. 

This dip comes together easily and inexpensively.  You can use canned crabmeat, which is considerably less expensive than any other type of crabmeat you can buy.  Of course, if your budget allows for fresh lump or claw meat, feel free to use it instead.  Mixing up the ingredients the day before works fine, just bake it the next day.  If there is any left for reheating, just pop it back in the microwave for a few moments.   A plain whole grain cracker tastes the best with this dip since it has more than enough flavor. 

 

crab-dip

 

Joe’s Maryland Style Crab Dip – adapted from recipezaar.com

4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
2 tbsp mayonnaise or miracle whip
2 tbsp butter (softened)
1/4 tsp hot sauce (or to taste)
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4  tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp paprika
2 tbsp green onions
2 tbsp green or red peppers
1/2 cup mozarella cheese
2 (6 ounce) cans of crabmeat
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Mix cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, hot sauce, butter until smooth.
  2. Blend in Old Bay and paprika.
  3. Stir in onion, pepper, cheese, and crab meat. Top with parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake in 8×8 pan at 350F for 10-15 minutes, until bubbly.