Friday, August 15, 2014

Crab Cakes

One of my Charleston friends recently posted on Facebook that she was taking her grandsons crabbing.  For the price of chicken necks and stout string, one can haul in a nice mess of crab from a dock or pier in the low country.  Crab Cakes were an inexpensive meal to put on the table.  And, don't even get me started on She Crab Soup.  An added benefit was entertaining the children for an afternoon catching those critters.

Well, needless to say, neither dish is inexpensive to bring to the table here in the midwest.  One of the first dinner parties we planned here found me at the Chicago Fish House seeking fresh crab.  I stepped up to the counter and boldly ordered two pounds of the crab.  I should have looked at the price!  My face must have registered my shock because the lady at the cash register said "not from around here?"!!  I took my very dear crab home thinking that the next dinner party would be prime rib, which was considerably cheaper.

Sometimes, though, you just have to have crab.  I think it has gotten cheaper (Costco) or I've gotten over the cost.  This recipe is one of the best I've tried.  It comes from a very, very old Gourmet.  Sometimes I add a tartar sauce and sometimes just a squeeze of lemon.

(Gourmet Magazine)

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. they look perfect from here. my mother loved to crab, string and a chicken neck and she would bring home a five gallon bucket of crabs. she boiled them and then she and daddy would have a ball cracking them, while my brother and i ate PBJ sandwiches...

  2. forgot to say, i smiled at keeping the kids busy... we would go to Skidaway Island causeway in Savannah, my brother splashed in the shallows, and i sat in the sun and read, while daddy fished and mother crabbed.

  3. Bonnie,how delicious looking!! Sometimes the best things in life to eat are way over the top, but just need to splurge.

  4. These look so good! Crab certainly has become dear and now it's a special treat. My grandfather was a waterman and when I was growing up we had all the crabs we wanted when they were in season. I miss those days! :)

  5. I feel the same way. It is absolutely shocking the price of crab but excellent quality crab is so worth it. I know your crab cakes must be delicious Bonnie knowing where you lived and how much crab was appreciate in that part of the world.

  6. Sorry I took so long! It is Hamilton Beach and it is the big oval one. Mine is white and It has a knob with off,warm,low, high. Model #33163H. As I got this maybe five years ago, they probably don't sell this exact model, but you can get the one that replaced it.

  7. Oh ---I'd love those crab cakes....YUM.. We both love seafood and that's one reason we love to go to the beach --where you can get the 'real thing'.... YUM....

    Had my first She Crab Soup in Charleston several years ago... Oh My Heart--how delicious... I even like their grits down there ---wheras I do not EVER eat grits here...

    Have a great weekend.

  8. It has literally been years since I've had crab cakes-love them! But I would have to have the tartar sauce:@)

  9. Oh my, I dearly love crab cakes! When the 'shrimp guy' comes in from Galveston and sets up his truck not far away. I usually buy some fresh crab each time. He sells the best New England crab I've ever had. I can never find 'unpasteurized' crab meat anywhere but from them. Sadly, the owner is not doing well and their trips to Wisconsin have been fewer and fewer. I think I'll stock up when they're here in September. You're making me hungry!

  10. Wonderful recipe, Bonnie! MY daughter adores crab cakes! I sometimes splurge on that $17 a pound container of crab meat at the superstores and make them for her.We indulged in lots of crab and other shellfish when we were back on the eaat coast o vacation this summer. :)

  11. I had the best crabcakes of my life in Barbados many years ago and try as hard as I may but I can't replicate that wonderful taste... it was probably experience and location as well as a good crab cake... yours look rather wonderful don't they?

  12. These would be a real TREAT! Oh, I fondly remember crabbing when we lived in Charleston (as a child). More fondly, I remember eating them... and oh, yes, She Crab Soup. You've made me hungry, Bonnie.

    I LOVE my crock pot... and my 40 year old one is my favorite. ;) I am going to give those roasted green beans a try... I think I have roasted every other vegetable and love them... don't know why it never occurred to me to use green beans... thanks!! blessings ~ tanna

  13. Mercy those look good! I love crab cakes. We got to a place called The Crab Cooker and have them as an appy all the time. I seldom make them, but I think I feel a hankering coming on!!!!
    xo Kris

  14. Oh my do those Crab Cakes look and sound wonderful!

  15. I wish we could get good crab more often here! I dearly love crab cakes. They are so worth the effort!


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