When I stopped at my local fish market to buy some crab meat, I asked the fishmonger what he had available. He told me had frozen crabmeat, and when I inquired whether I'd have to pick it over to get out little pieces of shell, he shot me a look and said, "This crab meat is without equal." How could I pass that up? He was absolutely right, and the crab, which is not local to New Engand though we have made crab cakes our own, was plump and sweet, and clean. This recipe, which I got many years ago from my friend Jennifer, makes eight large crab cakes, which would be a perfect lunch for four people, or a dozen smaller bite-size treats for appetizers. Tartar sauce or aioli mayonnaise make the perfect slathering sauce.
Traditional New England crab cakes
Makes 8 large or 12 small (appetizer size) crab cakes.
1/2 onion, diced
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 shakes Worcestershire sauce
3 shakes Tabasco or other hot sauce, or more to taste
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups panko (or breadcrumbs)
1 lb fresh lump crab meat, picked over to remove any bits of shell
Olive oil for frying
Tartar sauce, aioli mayonnaise, or cocktail sauce, for serving
In a small frying pan, sauté onion in butter until translucent. Remove from pan to a large bowl, and let the onions cool for a few minutes.
Stir in the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, Old Bay, black pepper and panko. Fold in the crab meat.
Form into 8 large patties, and place on a plate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Film the bottom of a large (12-inch) frying pan with olive oil, and heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the crab cakes and cook, without moving, 5 minutes or until the bottoms are brown. Then turn and cook the second side, 5 minutes or until brown. Remove from the pan and let drain on a plate covered with a paper towel, to remove excess oil.
Serve warm, with optional tartar sauce or aioli mayonnaise.
More traditional New England recipes:
Baked stuffed shrimp, from The Perfect Pantry
Quick and easy white clam chowder, from The Perfect Pantry
New England clambake, from Leite's Culinaria
New England lobster roll, from A Family Feast
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