Don’t be jealous, but I gotta tell you that this past week I was feeling pretty darn special when my buddy, Bill, gifted me with a package of delectable Blue Crab straight from the South Carolina coast. Every Fall, Bill and his buddies take an annual two-week “shrimpin’ and crabbin’ vacation” and bring home pounds and pounds of fresh seafood to last them until the next year’s excursion. Days are spent out on their boats and evenings are filled with community shrimp and crab boils, a little music (Bill is a ukelele player!), and lots of laughter. At the end of the two weeks, the fishermen and their wives come home with several pounds of delectable crab that they use to make chowders all Winter long. Sounds like a blast! Except for the cleaning of the fish (picking the crab), which is why I felt so special to receive the delicious crab meat all prepped and ready to make into my favorite Baltimore Crab Cake Appetizers!
The trick to making really good crab cakes is to keep the crab meat in as many lumps as possible and to gently form the patties to avoid crushing or packing the meat together too much. I use a recipe by Andrew Zimmerman that’s really easy and I think extremely delicious. Be sure to plan ahead so that you can chill the crab mixture for a good hour before frying the cakes. The mixture will be really wet (I added a few extra cracker crumbs), so handle carefully. The recipe makes eight dinner size crab cakes, but I opted to make appetizers instead and served them with a Russian dressing and fresh chive garnish…a lovely presentation that’s perfect for holiday parties!
Baltimore Crab Cake Appetizers Russian Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat picked over
- 20 saltine crackers finely crushed
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
- 4 teaspoons horseradish or to taste
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- fine sea salt
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Scoop the crab mixture with a one ounce scoop and lightly pack into (should be about 1 1/2 inches thick). In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the crab cakes and cook over moderately high heat until deeply golden and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the crab cakes to plates and serve with Russian dressing or lemon wedges.
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
- Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe by Epicurious