It’s been too long, I know…………. I’m lazy and I procrastinate. Moving on…….
It is no secret that I thoroughly hate Dungeness crab. Californians love it and often make fun of the East’s blue crab because of its size. I shouldn’t say Californians, really, it was my husband’s grandma, who also chastised the entire cuisine on the East Coast, saying it was bland. I almost choked on my tongue……the nerve of this woman. I have yet to get over that. Anyway…….the Dungeness crab is huge, it’s true, compared to our little guys that fill the Chesapeake with the sweet flavor that is blue crab. There is nothing like it and my crab cravings will only be satisfied by it. Since my bff Sarah, who lives in Richmond, was flying out to see me in CA (over a month ago), I asked her to fly with a pound of glorious jumbo lump crab meat from P.T. Hastings. I promised to make her my kick ass crab cakes the evening she flew in to welcome her to the West…..with an East Coast dish. Whatever…….I’m pregnant, I can cook what I want.
1 lb jumbo lump or lump crabmeat, picked through for shells
1/4 cup of mayo
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
fresh ground pepper (to your liking)
a few dashes of hot sauce
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Chopped fresh parsley (if you’ve got it, if not, dried will do fine)
Vegetable oil for frying
Fill a large sauce pan about 1/4 full with vegetable oil and heat on medium high until oil is hot. You can test the oil by flicking a drop of water in the pan. If it sizzles and pops, it’s ready. In a small bowl, mix together flour, bread crumbs and parsley. Set aside. Drain extra moisture from crab meat by squeezing it through a paper towel. In a large bowl, mix together crab, mayo, egg, Worcestershire, lemon, Old Bay, dry mustard, salt, garlic powder, pepper and hot sauce.
With your hands, form a crab ball about the size of your palm (your crab mixture should make 5-6 crab cakes. I made 4 large cakes once and it was a disaster….too hard to flip in the pan and I have a permanent burn scar on the top of my hand from it).
Serve with lemon wedges, fresh parsley sprigs and your favorite remoulade, yogurt sauce, etc…..
Now, Sarah and I did not have any sauce planned for the cakes. Sauce is great if you have the time, but these cakes are normally so delish, it’s not necessary. HOWEVER, this crab was particularly fishy………….BOO! I’m not sure if this is because the fresh meat was frozen then thawed once in California or what, but it was very disappointing for me. So, Sarah whipped up a little sauce with mayo, lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper and a little white wine vinegar. It was PERFECT!
I wanted to serve a few special sides. Broccollini is one of my favorite side dishes (for recipe, see Balsamic Broccollini). It’s so delicate and pretty and really crunchy when roasted! I had also been wanting to try sunchokes after reading a post about them from the fabulous Bitten Word. These little guys are sold in my local Safeway and are such a treat. We loved them! As mentioned in the Bitten Word, they’re like potatoes, but sweeter. We did not use an onion, just onion powder, but they turned out great. Simply saute them in a pan with butter, olive oil, salt, pepper and a chopped onion until they’re golden brown and crunchy. YUM!
The finished dish……….