Whenever the topic is crabs -- or crab cakes—the state of Maryland comes to mind. But Maryland isn’t the only place to catch crabs, there’s plenty of blue crabs in the bays of Long Island and the season here is in full swing.
I like to go crabbing in the evening, when blue crabs swim to the surface and can be lured in toward a net with a flashlight. During the day, we toss in a line with bait (usually chicken) and wait for a tug to reel them in. And what do I do with them? After boiling the crabs and carefully picking the meat out of the shells, I make crab cakes.
This is my favorite recipe; it combines crabmeat and another seasonal Long Island treat -- corn. These two ingredients really work together well. There’s no need to catch your own crab, crabmeat from a fishmonger or canned crabmeat both work well. Serve them with some homemade tartar sauce.
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 ear of fresh corn
16 ounces lump crabmeat
¾ to 1 cup fresh bread crumbs*
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Vegetable oil, for cooking
1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in small frying pan over low heat. Add shallots and cook until shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. Steam corn or cook corn in boiling water about 4 minutes. Cool and remove kernels. Combine corn and crabmeat in large bowl. Add bread crumbs and mix lightly, trying to keep lumps of crabmeat intact.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together egg, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, Old Bay and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in shallots and cilantro.
4. Pour egg mixture into crabmeat and gently combine. Divide mixture into about 6-8 portions and flatten into thick patties. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes to set.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and a little vegetable oil, enough to coat the bottom of a large frying pan, over medium heat. Add crab cakes, in batches if necessary (do not crowd otherwise they will be difficult to flip) and sauté until golden brown on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. Serve immediately.
*For breadcrumbs, can use about 5 inches of french bread. Slice as if making a sandwich and scrape out (or pinch out) white portion, leaving crusts.