Crab cakes and football – that’s what Maryland DOES!
Confession: I’ve never been to Maryland, as far as I can recall. But Wedding Crashers still makes me laugh after seeing it about 50 times, and I love love love crab cakes so it seemed like a good quote to lead into this recipe.
I have made similar versions to these crab cakes a few times, and I think I have finally tweaked them to just the way I like them. I pre-cook my diced peppers and onions prior to adding them to the crab mixture to bring out their full sweetness and the fresh parsley adds appropriate flecks of green spice to the sweet crab and aromatics.
I always feel like my crab cakes need a signature sauce to accompany them. Aioli or a tartar seem fitting but I am not the biggest mayo fan and don’t often keep it in the house. I’m looking for something with a little more pop and color too. This time around I tried out my version of a Green Goddess dressing – made with Greek yogurt, avocado, and a mix of fresh herbs. It has just the right amount of pizazz (yup. pizazz.) to stand alongside my favorite crustacean cakes.
One thing that is missing in this recipe is Old Bay seasoning. A traditional Maryland spice blend (again, never been there – but it’s widely available throughout America in a primary-colored, old school-looking tin), it goes amazingly well with all types of seafood, particularly shellfish. It tastes magical on french fries or any style of potato, on roasted vegetables, on popcorn, etc. And I am secretly hoping that someone will sneak a little container of the stuff into a Christmas package from the U.S. for me.
In the absence of my addictive spice blend of choice, I used garlic salt, cracked pepper, sweet paprika, and a little Cayenne.
Crab Cakes (makes 6 cakes)
– Olive oil
– 1/2 red onion
– 1/2 red pepper
– 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
– 1 1/2 cups/340 grams of crab meat (I used a good-quality canned kind – it’s cheap and simple.)
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon garlic salt
– 1 teaspoon paprika (sweet or smokey – whatever you’d like)
– a pinch of cayenne pepper
– cracked pepper, to taste
– 6 Jatz crackers (or something similar) crushed into bread crumbs
– 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tablespoon mustard
Saute red onion and red peppers in oil for about 4 minutes until soft. Set aside.
Drain and dry crab meat. If using fresh or frozen lump crab meat, pulse in a food processor until shredded.
Crush crackers in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin until they form a bread crumb-like texture.
Combine all ingredients (besides the olive oil) in a large bowl and mix well with your hands until combined.
Form patties with 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture. I make them into a ball and then flatten between my hands, shaping them into discs. Place the cakes on a lined tray and refrigerate for about an hour.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the crab cakes for about five minutes on each side until golden.
Green Yogurt Dressing
– 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
– 1/2 a ripe avocado
– handful of parsley
– handful of basil
– handful of coriander
– 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion
– salt & pepper
Combine ingredients in the a food processor or blender and process until herbs are finely chopped and all ingredients are combined into a smooth sauce. This is also great as a crudites dip or a salad dressing.