If the ribs piece – my latest post on Kitchen Daily – doesn’t turn you on, and you’re not in the mood for burgers, or indeed for grilling at all, you might think about crab cakes as a special Memorial Day treat. These are my favorites, made with as much crab and as little binder as I can manage. They are very crabby. (Buy “lump” or “claw” crabmeat, fresh if possible, though frozen is a good second choice; pasteurized or canned are not as good, but still worth eating.)
Crab Cakes, Curried or Plain
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 15 minutes, plus time to chill
Adapted from: How to Cook Everything
I expect crab cakes to be mostly crab, don’t you? That’s why just about every addition here is for flavor or is optional—there’s not a lot of bread.
Other seafood you can use: lobster.
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallion (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons bread crumbs, preferably fresh), or cracker crumbs, or as needed
About 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
2 tablespoons peanut, extra virgin olive, or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter or more oil
1. Mix together the crabmeat, egg, bell pepper, scallion, mayonnaise, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Add enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture just enough to form into cakes; start with 2 tablespoons and use more if you need it.
2. Refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to cook (it will be easier to shape if you refrigerate it for 30 minutes or more, but it’s ready to go when you finish mixing.
3. Season the flour with salt and pepper and add some curry powder if you like. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the oil and butter and heat until the butter foam subsides. Shape the crabmeat mixture into 1-inch-thick cakes, dredge each in the flour, and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary and turning once (very gently), until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Serve with lemon wedges and/or tartar sauce.
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