Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Back in the Day with Gourmet" Crab Cakes

I'm still on my gourmet Gourmet nostalgia trip. These crab cakes are from the same issue as the tomato salad a few days ago. And, as in that issue, they were served with the salad alongside. It is a delicious pairing.

In our days of living in Charleston, S.C., crabs were just a chicken neck tied to a string away.  And, if that wasn't possible, crab was inexpensive to pick up from the fish mongers.  Imagine my surprise at the prices the Chicago Fish House charged!  Costco has very good crab packed into one pound tins and I'm sure most large supermarkets have something similar.

This recipe for crab cakes is one of the best I've tried.  Alas, when I had everything in the bowl except the eggs, I found two lonely eggs in the refrigerator.  My crab cakes only suffered in the holding together department and we ate them with great relish.

Gourmet, August 1993

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, beaten slightly
6 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 pounds lump crab meat, picked over for shells
2 cups fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup vegetable oil
lemon wedges to accompany

In a bowl whisk together the butter, eggs, sour cream, parsley, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt, and cayenne and gently stir in the crab meat and bread crumbs.  Form 1/2 cup measures of the mixture into twelve thick crab cakes and transfer to a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with half of the cornmeal.  Sprinkle the rest of the cornmeal over the crab cakes and chill them, covered with plastic wrap, for at least an hour to overnight.

In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.  Saute the crab cakes in batches, turning them once, for three to four minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  

Serve with tartar sauce.

Makes 12 crab cakes, serving 6.



  1. Lovely crab cakes. Great ratio of crab to filling. You always want to taste crab.


  2. ...and enjoy them I will. They look wonderful. I love all your "back in the day" recipes. I just wish all your followers could read your wonderful "Christmas Memories". I really loved it, Bonnie. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Cornmeal would add that extra crunch for these delicious treats!!

  4. Oh, delicious! I just love crab cakes. Can't wait to try this recipe. I love your new blog header photo - perfect for fall. :)

  5. Hi Bonnie, I love crab cakes and must try your recipe.I have ordered crab cakes from QVC which came from Maryland and their were good.Thanks for sharing with us. Hugs, Baba

  6. So glad to connect with you. I love your crabcakes and I love your blog. I'll be back.

  7. my mother loved all things crab and caught baskets of them each summer with the string and a chicken neck off of skidaway island in savannah ga. my job was to net them when she caught them. after we took them home,i would go hide in my room with a book because i could not stand to see the live crabs dropped in the

  8. Oh, these look just lovely! I've never made crab cakes!

  9. Oh my! Coming here is pure heaven. I'm off to grab a recipe card. :)

  10. I LOVE crab cakes. Our favorite recipe for them has quickly become a recipe we discovered earlier this year in Taste of the South magazine. They use cooled, crumbled cornbread instead of regular breadcrumbs.

    My husband always requests that we make lots of extra...he likes them on a croissant as a sandwich.

    Blessings on your day,

  11. If I tell my husband about your post, his first comment will be, "But are they Maryland crab cakes?"

    His personal favorite (but one he never gets, being that we're in the South!) Crab's pricey here!

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. I almost always order crab cakes when they are on a menu. I've eaten some fantastic ones and some not so fantastic. Your ratio is perfect.

  14. These look soooooo yummy! Too bad crab is NOT the "meat du jour" in the midwest!

  15. I'm not a big seafood person, but I do like a good crab cake. This looks really yummy!

  16. Oh, I bet those are good!
    Yummy! Yummy!


  17. UH OH, I'm on a Gourmet Nostalgia trip too. Today I pulled out the August '09 issue to make a rustic torte (really like a shortbread) for some friends who were coming over. So wonderful and easy. Then I topped the hot torte with chantilly.

    Hey, I hadn't tried the crab cakes, but here I am in Maine and it looks like crab cakes tomorrow.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  18. These looks so awesome! I have got to show my daughter this recipe!

  19. I love crab cakes and these look wonderful! (My grandpa was a waterman, and I am VERY picky about my crab cakes.)

  20. Bonnie, Thanks for stopping by my blog again. Love your visits.

    I have never had crab cakes ~ these look delicious. Will have to pick up some crab next Costco trip.


  21. The Crab Cakes look delicious.... I'll bet they were really good with that relish... YUM...


  22. This recipe is one that I have to try. I just love crab cakes. I order them whenever I see them on a menu. I have never made them myself. I think it is time! Carla

  23. Talking about Charleston, chicken necks and crabbing brings back LOTS of good memories. I spent part of my childhood in Charleston (two of my younger brothers were born there). We had crab all the time... we would all go out on the piers, catch them with the chicken necks, go home and have them the same day! NOTHING like fresh crab! I wouldn't mind a bowl of she-crab-soup either! Thanks for the reminder!! Hugs ~ Tanna

  24. This reminds me of when we used to live in Baltimore. Is there anything better than a good crab cake? I think not...and I think that this sounds delicious.

  25. I never really got into gourmet while it was still being published but now I love to look for recipes from it on Epicurious! Crab is impossibly expensive here in NYC - I'm relegated to using the tubs as well. Oh's worth it for recipes like this!

  26. As you know "Gourmet" rules!! I'm still so sad that they folded. At least I have a bunch of their hardcover year end books.
    I love crab. I think crab season starts in December here in California. We always have cracked crab, salad, bread and wine for Christmas ever dinner.

  27. I Love Crab Cakes, these look wonderful.

  28. My collection of Gourmets goes back to 1972. I love them and miss Gourmet. Your crab cakes sound wonderful.

  29. I had to come back, my senior memory kicked in this morning while thinking about crabs from your blog and i thought i remembered i did not finsh my comment yesterday. the phone rang and i talked for over and hour and came back and pushed publish. I am right, i stopped mid sentence. the rest of the sentence was drop the crabs in boiling water while they were alive just made me cry. I left the scene of mothers crime.

  30. These look amazing! Isn't fun when the boys come to visit; I know what you are living.

  31. soon as I can get my hands on some reasonably costly crab meat...I'll be giving these a try. Wonderful ingredients! Hubby would devour these in no time ;o)

    Ciao for now,


I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.