Take a culinary road trip out East this week. These crab cakes are the real deal—wall-to-wall crabmeat with a minimum of fillers and no fancy seasonings to overwhelm their sweet, delicate taste, says culinary instructor and cookbook author Molly Stevens, who created this recipe for Real Food. A single cake makes an elegant appetizer with nothing more than a dollop of the spicy remoulade, she notes, or serve two per person accompanied by a fresh tomato salad and buttered corn on the cob for a dinner that will transport you to the Mid-Atlantic shore.
Crab Cakes with Old Bay Remoulade
Makes 8 Crab Cakes (Serves 8 as an Appetizer, 4 as a Main Course)
1 pound lump crabmeat (see Cook’s Notes)
1 large egg
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (see Cook’s Notes)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, white and pale green parts, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus about 2 teaspoons (or cooking spray) for pan
For the Remoulade
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon minced or grated garlic
Dash hot sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and place in a large mixing bowl. Pick through for shells.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the crabmeat and toss gently with your fingers or a rubber spatula to combine without breaking up the crab. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs (or cracker crumbs), parsley and scallions, and mix again to combine. Shape into 8 evenly sized cakes and arrange on a large plate or tray. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 6 hours.
- Make the remoulade sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- • If baking crab cakes, heat the oven to 375°F. Butter a baking sheet using about 2 teaspoons butter (or cooking spray). Arrange the crab cakes on the prepared baking sheet. Cut the 2 tablespoons butter into 8 slivers and place 1 piece on each crab cake. Bake until heated through and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
• If sautéing crab cakes, melt the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the cakes and cook until nicely browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until deeply browned and heated through, another 4 to 6 minutes.
- Serve hot. Pass the remoulade sauce at the table.
• To make great-tasting crab cakes, you need great-tasting crabmeat, and this means shopping for fresh or pasteurized lump crabmeat, found in the refrigerated seafood section of the market. Avoid claw meat or tins labeled “special,” as the smaller pieces and stronger flavors aren’t suitable for delicate crab cakes.
• The best breadcrumbs are made from white sandwich bread. Remove the crusts and pulse a couple of slices in a food processor to make crumbs. If using store-bought breadcrumbs, panko crumbs are best for their light, flaky texture; just be sure they are unseasoned. For cracker crumbs, place a stack of saltine in a heavy plastic bag and crush into coarse crumbs by tapping with a rolling pin.
Nutrition info (per serving) Crab Cakes with Old Bay Remoulade: Calories 200; Fat 14g (Sat. 4g); Chol 80mg; Sodium 520mg; Carb 6g; Fiber 0g; Sugar 0g; Protein 12g
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