Crab cakes easily can be prepared, enjoyed at home
Maybe some couples celebrate special occasions by making reservations at a restaurant, but we tend to make it a nice evening at home. Every April on our anniversary, we enjoy homemade crab cakes.
Sometimes, I serve it with a creamy Dijon dressing and other times I make a remoulade with lemon. I never use a recipe for the crab cakes, but instead just create what inspires me. But the requirement is always a pound of fresh lump crabmeat.
Because I grew up in a landlocked area, fresh crab was rare. We grew up with cakes made from canned crab that tasted like all the other ingredients with the crab an afterthought. On college trips to Florida, I fell in love with cakes made with a minimum of filler and loads of fresh crab. I was hooked from then on.
A better name for what I make would be crab patties or crab burgers. They were originally called cakes because they were flattened. Unlike land creatures which hold themselves upright, water creatures only need about onefifth as much connective tissue. That lack of connective tissue means the “meat” doesn’t hold together as tightly when it is flaked or ground.
For this reason, no matter what mixture I come up with, I form the crab cakes the day before preparing. If you don’t have that much time, give the cakes at least an hour in the fridge. Then I pan fry them in a butter oil mixture for 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Lump crabmeat is sometimes labeled backfin. It is the large whole lumps of meat from the body of the crab and is usually the most expensive type. Flaked crabmeat is all the rest of the meat from the body. You can purchase claw meat from the claw appendages or buy the claws with the shell partially removed to serve as appetizers.
Tammy Algood of Smyrna is the author of five Southern cookbooks, including “Sunday Dinner in the South.” Reach her at email@example.com. Read her blog at hauteflavor.wordpress.com