Where my Maryland folks at?!
Okay, I can't lie to you. I am a born and bred Virginia gal. And moving to Maryland was a big deal for me. I was very reluctant to leave good ole VA behind and I still think I'm a better driver than most of my Maryland comrades :-P
But my family's roots run deep in Maryland and my dad makes one of the best crab cakes I've ever had. And I've had a lot of crab cakes. It used to be my go-to order at nice restaurants before I learned to really branch out.
The best thing about his recipe is he doesn't use fillers or binders that overtake the flavor of the crab meat. Instead, a few simple tricks help keep this beauty together and keep the crab the shining star.
But first thing's first, let's make some sauce!
I love me a simple tartar sauce but we're spicing things up today with a Louisiana-inspired spicy remoulade sauce.
Remoulade sauces are mayo-based just like tartar but there are a few things added that make it a bit different, like shallots and parsley. To give it that Louisiana kick, you'll need some stone ground mustard (hopefully you have some leftover from the pork burgers!) and hot sauce.
While your sauce is chilling, you can put together the crab cakes.
You know why crab cakes are really fantastic? Because they take literally minutes to put together and bake while still seeming super fancy and special.
They're so dang easy! It's unreal!
A couple of helpful tips...
When shopping for crab meat, go for local and the good jumbo lump stuff, if you can. Even better, if you're picking crabs, save anything that is left to make crab cakes the next day. The fresher, the better.
Old bay, duh. Maryland's most precious commodity, along with Natty Boh and bad drivers. Sorry, I'll stop. I promise.
When mixing the crabmeat, gentle is key. Use your hands and try not to break the meat up as you mix. You want the lumps to stay as intact as possible.
Skip the egg and bread crumbs. You don't need them!!! Try this "saltine dust" instead to keep the meat together and give it the salt it needs.
Another tip to keeping those crab cakes together from chef Jeff himself, refrigerate the cakes for at least 15 minutes prior to broiling to help keep the shape.
Broil these babies on high for about 10 minutes and they'll come out perfectly golden brown and ready to eat!
Pair with that spicy remoulade sauce over a bed of greens or plop it on a roll slathered in sauce for a delicious sandwich.
You could even top it on my favorite Summer Salad if you're feeling really fancy. Newsflash: goat cheese and crab is an oddly amazing combination. Just trust me on this one.
If you want to serve these for a larger crowd, you can make the cakes mini and just broil for a bit less time until golden brown.
However you decide, just make them. It's not Summer without some crabby cakes in your life!!!
Dad's Maryland Crab Cakes
Makes 6 large crab cakes
Louisiana Remoulade Sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon shallots, finely diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon hot sauce, I used Frank's
16oz fresh jumbo lump crab meat
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay, plus more for dusting
1.5 tablespoons Saltine cracker dust, about 3-4 crackers
- For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together and taste to check seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- For the crab, add your crab meat to a medium-sized bowl and gently pick through with your fingers to check for shells. Use a blender or food processor to pulse the Saltine crackers until a powder forms. Add all the ingredients to the crab meat and gently fold together with your hands, being careful to keep the crab as intact as possible. Form the crab into palm-sized balls and refrigerate on a lightly greased baking sheet for at least 15 minutes.
- When ready to cook, place your oven rack in the middle and turn your oven to broil on high. Remove the crab from the fridge and pop right into the oven to broil for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. When you pull them out, sprinkle a bit more Old Bay on top. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and sauce.
Thank you to my pops, Chef Jeff, for always sharing his kitchen creations with me and instilling in me a real love of feeding others :) Love you, dad!
Enjoy my friends <3