Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Steamed Dungeness Crab and Crab Cakes

I spent a couple days last week in Cannon Beach. It feels wrong to go to the coast and not bring back fresh crab. I mean, what is better than a dungeness crab feast?  Nothing.

I bought two huge crabs and had every intention of gorging myself on them, but after finishing one I was way too full to continue. So I cleaned the meat out of the other one to save for another meal.

The next night, I made crab cakes with that meat. I had every intention of following a Cooks Illustrated recipe, but while looking for that recipe I came across this post.  What better way to pick a recipe than to have someone else try four recipes and write about them?  One of the recipes had this analysis:

"My notes on Katie's recipe start with "pure, unadulterated crab." This is a great recipe if you have fantastic, fresh crab and love to let it shine. It held together better in the pan than it fared in the oven. Perhaps because it was the 4th one I flipped, I started to get better at being gentle. It's very similar to the Cooks Illustrated recipe in terms of flavor, really just without the green onion. So if you love letting the real crab flavor shine, this is a fantastic choice."

My reaction was (1) thank goodness I didn't rely on a Cooks Illustrated recipe because green onions make me gag and (2) this sounds PERFECT for my fresh and delicious crab meat.  Katie's (from Good Things Catered) recipe is as follows.

Real Maryland Crab Cakes

1 lb. fresh lump crab meat
1 egg
1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1 slice bread, crust removed, soaked in milk
1 tsp old bay seasoning, plus extra for topping
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
3 Tbsp oil

1. In large bowl, combine crab, egg, mayo, bread, 1 tsp old bay (or more if desired), salt, pepper, parsley and mix to combine thoroughly.

2. Pat into 4 inch cakes and place into fridge to set for 20-30 minutes.

3. In medium fry pan, add oil and heat over medium low heat until almost smoking.

4. Place cakes into pan carefully, making sure not to break, and let pan fry until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Carefully flip cakes and let pan fry until other side is golden brown, about 5-8 minutes more.

6. Carefully remove cakes from the pan and place on paper towel lined plate.

7. Sprinkle tops of cakes with old bay and serve immediately.

This recipe was also perfect for me because other than bread and milk, I had all the ingredients. I very much did not want to venture out into the down pour and cold outside, so I substituted about 3 Tbsp plain breadcrumbs for the milk soaked bread. You know, even if I had milk and bread, I might have subbed it for breadcrumbs. The thought of soaking bread in milk makes me gag.

I also made some tartar sauce, but it wasn't very good, so I am not going to share the recipe I made up.

I love crab.

Bon appetit.

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