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Crab Cakes Two Ways — Beginner and Expert

Crab is a lovely Christmastime luxury. While I love it freshly cracked, there is something undeniably glamorous about crispy, flaky crab cakes. Miniature crab cakes are scrumptious, bite-size appetizers and the larger version is delicious as a first course served over a bed of greens. Perhaps it's because my mother was born in Maryland, but I feel every home cook should know how to make crab cakes. For that reason I've found two recipes for you to enjoy; one is simple and the other a little more challenging. To check them out,

Beginner Crab Cakes
From Mark Laubner

1 lb. crabmeat
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise
1 heaping tsp. mustard
1/4 cup crushed crackers or bread crumbs
2 tbsp. olive oil

  1. Place crabmeat into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat eggs, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, seafood seasoning, parsley flakes, dry mustard, mayonnaise, and prepared mustard. Add cracker crumbs to the mixture.
  3. Fold dressing into crabmeat, being careful not to break up the crabmeat. Shape into slightly flattened patties and chill for at least a half an hour.
  4. Sauté the cakes in 2 tbsp. of oil on both sides until they are golden brown, or broil until golden brown on each side.

The number of crab cakes depend on their size.

Expert Crab Cakes
From Tyler Florence

1 1/2 stalks celery heart, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 bunches of scallion, green part only, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black and white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
1/2 cup smoked salmon
1 cup whipped cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
Hot sauce (recommended: Crystal's)
1 pound jumbo lump crab
3 cups seasoned bread crumbs
5 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil, divided for frying
2 tablespoons butter, divided for frying
Remoulade, for serving, recipe follows

  1. In a big heavy-bottomed frying pan, sauté celery, peppers, onions, scallions in 1 tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons oil until soft about 8–10 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, basil and thyme, salt and white pepper, cook 1 minute. Add parsley and garlic and cook 3 more minutes. Remove pan from stove, set aside to cool.
  3. Finely chop smoked salmon, then flatten it, using the blade of a kitchen knife. Add the salmon to the whipped cream in a large mixing bowl. Add dill and season with salt and white pepper. Add 1/2 of the lemon juice and blend gently with spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of the sautéed vegetables and herbs to the mixture. Fold egg whites into mixture to create a mousse.
  4. Check the crabmeat for pieces of shell and put in a large clean bowl. Season with 1 cup of bread crumbs, salt, pepper, hot sauce and remaining lemon juice.
  5. Fold in mousse, taking care not to over mix it.
  6. Fold in the rest of the vegetables and herbs and another cup of bread crumbs. Blend it together very carefully with your hands taking care not to break up any of the crabmeat and overwork the mousse.
  7. Gently work into little cakes and pat the outsides with more bread crumbs. Set aside.
  8. Heat the remaining tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown on each side. Only turn them once after the bottom side is browned.

Serves 6–8.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon capers, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended Crystal's)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Chop all vegetable ingredients. Place in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly then refrigerate.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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