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crab cakes

i hardly ever make crab cakes, but i do love them. i like them moist, but not wet, and i cannot stand it when they taste like mayonnaise.

everyone has a different way that they like their crab cakes to taste. you can adjust the seasoning however you like, but these are the basics.

to one pound of crab meat, add the light parts of two large celery sticks [about 2/3 of each stalk] chopped into very small pieces [about 1/4″ dice], two scallions [also chopped well], and a hand- full of italian parsley [again, chopped].

in a bowl combine one large egg, 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 3/4 cup of sour cream [i used low- fat, it’s fine], and a couple of tables of lemon juice. add to crab meat mixture, then add the dry ingredients [it’s best to combine them well in a bowl first, but of course i don’t]. mix 1/2 – 3/4 cup good breadcrumbs, 1/2 t smoked salt, 1 t paprika, 1/2 t cayenne pepper or dried ancho chile powder, 1/2 t dry mustard, and freshly ground pepper. i pretty much consider it cheating to use spice blends, but if you have old bay seasoning, you can add 1/2 t of that; it has celery salt and bay leaves among other things, and is great with seafood.

mix the dry ingredients into the crab; it should be the consistency of tuna salad, moist but not sloppy. if you like them a bit more wet, you can add another 1/4 of sour cream. if you like them a bit more firm, you can add another 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and another egg. you can also roll the patties in bread crumbs before frying them if you like a bit more crust [although they get nice and crispy as it is].

form the crab mixture into patties the size of small hamburgers, about 3/4″ thick. cook on low heat until brown, then turn and brown the other side. they brown kind of quickly, so keep the heat low/med-low to ensure they cook through… but don’t let them dry out!

when the crab cakes are cooking, put sour cream [again, i used low- fat], lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl and mix. you can add some chopped parsley, chives, or fresh herbs like tarragon if you like. serve on top of the crab cakes.

flora made a great salad from romaine lettuce and carrots with a balsamic vinaigrette. it was fantastic!

when we were done with the crab cakes we added more sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and brown sugar to the remaining sour cream mixture and dipped strawberries for dessert. yum. actually, flora didn’t like the brown sugar and sour cream, although she devoured the unsweetened version with the crab cakes. go figure…

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