Monday, October 1, 2018

Rosie Makes Crab Cakes.

Over the years, I've made A LOT of crab cakes.
And I'm always open to new recipes, forever searching for the ULTIMATE CRAB CAKE.
I know it's out there.  I just have to find it.
I've come quite close, numerous times, and I believe this particular cake rates right up there with the best of 'em.

You can Google the recipe.  It's Mrs. Duvall's Crab Cake, Mrs. Duvall being the mother of actor Robert Duvall.  Mr. Duvall grew up in Maryland, where children are practically weaned on crab cakes.  In 1998, Duvall bought the The Rail Stop Restaurant in Plains, Virginia,  and offered his mother's crab cake recipe to Chef Tom Kee, allowing the chef to tweek the recipe if warranted.  Chef Kee, who eventually bought the restaurant from Duvall, kept the recipe as is.

Rosie Note:  Upon perusing the menu at The Rail Stop, I don't see any crab cakes.  Could be a seasonal thing.  Which is good.

Now, let's make some crab cakes.

About crab cakes:
It's all about the crab.  Not the filling.  You want just enough filling to hold it together.  Crab is king.
It's best to use lump crab meat.  As I said, it's all about the crab.  You want the big pieces of crab in the cakes.  You want to be able to see the crab.
Don't over-fill.
Don't over-mix.
Don't over-handle.
Let the crab meat shine.

RECIPE NOTE:  I'm making half of Mrs. Duvall's recipe.  I didn't need 16 cakes for the three of us.  Plus, I have just the thing for the other half pound of crab meat - my Crab Meat Boule.  Recipe up next.

Mrs. Duvall's Crab Cakes 
(This is 1/2 her recipe.)
1/2 pound crab meat (preferably lump)
2 TB mayonnaise (Hellman's)
2 TB minced onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
pinch salt
1/2 cup saltine crackers, crushed

2 TB unsalted butter
2 TB vegetable oil

Combine beaten eggs, mayo, onions, Worcestershire, mustard, Old Bay, and salt.  Gently, fold in crab meat and 2 TB of the cracker crumbs.  Try not to break up the lumps.

Using a light hand, shape the mixture into 8 cakes about 1-inch thick.  Press just enough to hold the cakes together.  Coat with remaining crumbs and transfer to a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

In a large skillet melt 1 TB butter with 1 TB oil until butter foams. (350° if you're taking temperatures.)  Add four crab cakes and cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes each side, until golden.  Drain on paper towels.  Repeat with the rest of the oil, butter, and cakes.

Generally, when making crab cakes, I have a tartar sauce or a remoulade for dipping.  I didn't bother using any dips for these crab cakes. They didn't need anything.  Just a squeeze of lemon.  Because I have to have my lemon.

For the step-by-steps:
I have my saltines, egg mixture, and crab meat ready.

Sadly, I don't have lump crab meat.

Mr. Hawthorne had gone to Billy's Seafood and picked up a pound of crab meat as a surprise for me.
And Mr. Hawthorne ain't buying no stinkin' jumbo crab meat.  He'll pay (whining) $13/lb. for claw meat, but he's not dishing out $20 for lump or, God forbid, $27 for jumbo lump.  Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I smiled sweetly and accepted the claw meat.

Add the crab meat to the egg mixture.
Pretend it's lump!

Lightly and gently fold.  Don't break up the meat.

Add in some of the saltine crumbs and fold.  Gently!
So as not to break up those lumps...

Coat with the rest of the Saltine crumbs.
Refrigerate for a bit.  (You could refrigerate these overnight.)

Then sauté in the butter and oil until golden brown.

And serve.
I wanted some green in there so I chopped up some celery leaves.


Just imagine that with LUMPS!


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