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Crab Cakes-Another Coastal Staple Food

I don't know about anyone else, but I've always considered 'sampling the local cuisine' as being one of the most important parts of any vacation. This is definitely the case with my husband and other friends who make sure to go to a seafood restaurant any time we go to visit my parents.  -->
Sometimes I like to make foods that hearken back to the seafood restaurants of my youth because I can never seem to find a decent one 'inland' that isn't part of a chain. Red Lobster and Joe's Crab Shack can be good, but there's just something about a 'Mom-and-Pop' seafood restaurant that makes me feel at home.

Earlier in the year, I gave you a recipe for hushpuppies ( -one of my favorite 'coastal' foods. Here's another 'seafood staple'-crab cakes.

This is a very basic recipe. It makes roughly 8 crab cakes.

½ pound flaked cooked* crabmeat
½ egg
8 saltine crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon water
1 ½ teaspoons 'regular, yellow' mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons seafood seasoning (optional)
¼ cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Using medium heat, warm the vegetable oil in a large skillet.

Crush the crackers finely in a mixing bowl. Add water and let stand about 1 minute, just enough for the crackers to soften. Add the egg, crabmeat, mustard and mayonnaise. Then, add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and any seafood seasoning you use. Stir them until they are evenly mixed. Once it is ready, use the mixture to form ¾ -inch thick patties. Place in the hot oil and cook about 2 minutes per side until hot in the center and golden brown on each side. As they are finished, put the patties on a paper-towel lined plate so the oil can drain. Overall, they should take about 20 minutes to make.

As I said, this is one of the more basic recipes. If you'd like to 'dress them up' a bit, here's another recipe that involves making a 'special sauce'. This one also makes about 8 patties and takes 45 minutes to make.

Crab patties
2 pounds crabmeat, cooked
1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
½ egg
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil
1/8 teaspoon seafood seasoning (Old Bay is my preference, but others can be used)
½ cup crushed saltine crackers
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 ½ egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon seafood seasoning (see above note)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 ½ ounces fresh lime juice
¾ cup, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine crabmeat, crushed crackers, basil, lemon zest, ½ egg, seasoning and mayonnaise in a large bowl and stir until evenly blended. Then, make roughly 8 5-ounce patties and chill until they are cold. I recommend placing the patties on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper to prevent the cakes from sticking.

While cakes are cooling, warm 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet using medium heat. Once the cakes are ready, sauté them until golden brown, which is roughly 4 minutes on each side. Then, put the cakes on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

While the cakes are draining, you can make the sauce by putting 1 ½ egg yolks, cilantro, salt, pepper, lime juice and seafood seasoning in a blender. After the blender has been running for about 10 seconds or so, slowly drizzle ¾ cup, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the blender. You want the sauce to be creamy when you are finished.

Now you have a great seafood recipe that doesn't take a lot of time and can be used for a variety of occasions. Enjoy!

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