Dungeness Crab Cakes

by abigail on January 15, 2014

crab cakes edited

People hold strong opinions about certain foods. If you don’t believe me, put a Texan and someone from Kansas City in the same room and say the word “barbecue.” Sparks will fly. Texans also get pretty riled up about chili. As a matter of fact, it seems Texans are easily riled. But they cook good down there so I say don’t mess with Texas. Plus, they’re all packing. I’d tread lightly.

In North Carolina there is the endless eastern barbecue versus western debate. Where does this native North Carolinian stand on that issue? Simple…like a mother with two children, I love them both. Equally. They’re just different. But not that different, really.

Then there’s the issue of pizza. New York or Chicago? Deep dish or thin crust? To fold or not to fold? Just, for God’s sake, don’t use a knife and fork in New York City. New Yorkers don’t care how they do it in Italy. You’re in NYC now and you will be discussed if you get it wrong. Or worse, branded a tourist. Just ask the mayor.

Which brings us to crab cakes. Not a subject to arouse great passion, you might think. You would be wrong. People in Maryland take their crab cakes very, very seriously. The Maryland crab cake is likely to be seasoned only with Old Bay and held together with an egg and a prayer. Woe be to the cook who adds too much flavoring or filler. So, I’d say these are most definitely not Maryland crab cakes. But they pass my ultimate test which is very simple. Is it delicious? The answer is yes, absolutely. Now feel free to pile on.

Dungeness Crab Cakes

Lovely served with coleslaw and French fries or a green salad. I had one crab cake left over and made a sandwich on toasted country bread with mayonnaise, a little Indian cilantro chutney and some chicory leaves. Sweet.

1/2 pound Dungeness crabmeat or other lump crabmeat
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chopped chives or scallion (the green part)
a few drops Worcestershire sauce
a few drops of hot sauce
the grated zest of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, chives, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon zest and salt. Gently fold in the crabmeat and 2 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs, taking care not to break up the crabmeat. Spread half of the remaining breadcrumbs on a plate. Form the crab mixture into 4 crab cakes and put them on the plate. The cakes will be very wet. Sprinkle with the rest of the breadcrumbs and lightly press them into the tops of the cakes. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Melt the butter with the oil in a non-stick skillet set over medium-high heat. Fry the crab cakes until golden brown and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Makes 4 crab cakes.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

My Hurricane Books

December 3, 2013
Thumbnail image for My Hurricane Books

Seems that Santa’s not the only one making a list and checking it twice this time of year. There are loads of “best” lists around now and cookbooks are no exception. Reading these lists is dangerous for the lover of books and cooking - they generally end in a purchase or two. When we left Tortola, [...]

Read the full article →

A Cracking Good Garlic Cracking

November 18, 2013
Thumbnail image for A Cracking Good Garlic Cracking

It’s really swell cooking here in North Carolina again, in large part because it’s so much fun to shop for food. Winston-Salem is small, as cities go, but I’m still within driving distance of 7 or 8 farmer’s markets. It’s a good thing to meet the people who grow your food. Farmers love to talk about what they produce, they’re free [...]

Read the full article →

Creamy Tomato Soup

October 29, 2013
Thumbnail image for Creamy Tomato Soup

Andy Warhol’s first Campbell’s Soup can series was made up of 32 paintings, each depicting a different variety of soup. But the tomato soup can is the one we most remember from the iconic series, the one that’s on the t-shirts. Tomato soup is cozy comfort for rainy afternoons and snow days. A mug full of steaming tomato soup thaws frozen fingers and brings [...]

Read the full article →

Risotto with Lake Perch

October 15, 2013
Thumbnail image for Risotto with Lake Perch

Another day, another epic technology fail. Bones and I are getting to know the guys at the Geek Squad a little too well. In the past month they’ve mended two of our computers and Audrey’s brand new Nikon camera. All under warranty, thankfully, except for the most recent casualty - my computer. Luckily it was the software that packed [...]

Read the full article →

Amarcord, Marcella

September 29, 2013
Thumbnail image for Amarcord, Marcella

“That old world of mine was in Romagna, the southeastern, sea-rimmed corner of Emilia-Romagna, a region in northern Italy. It has its own distinctive dialect, as every place in Italy does. In Romagnolo, the dialect of Romagna, amarcord means “I remember,” compressing the three slow-footed Italian words “io mi ricordo” into a single, swift, emphatic [...]

Read the full article →

Spoonbread with Fresh Corn

August 29, 2013
Thumbnail image for Spoonbread with Fresh Corn

The story of the summer garden reminds me a little of all of those wonderful coming-of-age tales I read as a child. The young girl moves from fresh adolescence into full-blown womanhood, ultimately enjoying a beautiful, stately old age. The summer garden follows a similar story arc (though, as I am a very poor gardener, it is a tale writ by farmers and [...]

Read the full article →

Tomato Season

August 13, 2013
Thumbnail image for Tomato Season

I am in awe of the farmers of the world. As a person who has never, ever successfully grown anything from seed, it is a miracle to me that farmers do just that season after season. So much can go wrong. If it’s not disease, it’s bugs. The weather rarely seems cooperative. Things in our part of NC has [...]

Read the full article →

Turbot with Chanterelles

August 5, 2013
Thumbnail image for Turbot with Chanterelles

Too much of a good thing can be bad. We all know that. Too much of a good thing can also be an awful lot of fun.  Make no mistake, I am no stranger to excess. Going overboard is a specialty. But to throw out another cliché, less is often more, in the kitchen as elsewhere. A big Emeril [...]

Read the full article →

Penne with Zucchini and Saffron

July 29, 2013
Thumbnail image for Penne with Zucchini and Saffron

Some people collect postcards when they travel. Others return with tea towels, pottery, key chains or t-shirts. I’ve known people who purchase a commemorative spoon at every spot visited. We always have to come home with a refrigerator magnet for Devica. Bones has a collection of photos we could call “cow pats of the world,” foreign cow pats obviously being more quaint and photogenic than [...]

Read the full article →

Insalata di Riso

July 22, 2013
Thumbnail image for Insalata di Riso

I cannot speak Italian. Oh, I can say hello and goodbye. I can ask for directions and on occasion even understand the response (mainly because Italians tend to gesture - a lot - when speaking). Numbers always trip me up, no matter the language. When making a purchase in Italy, I just thrust a wad of cash at the store clerk [...]

Read the full article →

Coming Home

July 16, 2013
Thumbnail image for Coming Home

  I arrived on Tortola on the first of July of 1992. I was there for a two-week vacation. Halfway into the holiday, I met a guy in a bar. And that, as they say, was that. Last summer I returned to live in the US, twenty years and twenty-four hours from the day that I first set [...]

Read the full article →

Lobster Salad

December 31, 2011
Sardinian Lobster Salad

So you’re driving through town and there’s a guy by the roundabout with a wheelbarrow full of live lobsters.  You’d stop, right?  Even if you’ve just come from the dock where you bought a load of swordfish straight off the boat.  And your fisherman friend was stopping by later to drop off a wahoo he’d caught that morning.  [...]

Read the full article →

My Christmas Lights

December 25, 2011
Christmas Lights

Photo by Audrey Blake “It came without ribbons!  It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! And he puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.”  Dr. Seuss*

Read the full article →

Red Velvet Cupcakes

December 13, 2011
Red Velvet Cupcakes

I’d love to know who gave home cooks the idea that scratch cakes are hard to make.  If you’re new to baking, you might not want to start with génoise or angel food cake, but there’s certainly nothing difficult about devil’s food or that workhorse of the Southern kitchen, the pound cake.  Just follow the instructions carefully [...]

Read the full article →