My husband grew up in Maryland and we actually met when I lived there right after college. In Maryland you have easy access to seafood fresh from the Chesapeake Bay. The only time I really had seafood growing up was on Friday night at the American Legion for a fish fry. I didn’t even typically get the fish fry – I think I would usually order chicken wings or fingers. Needless to say, it took me a little while to develop a taste for seafood, especially if it wasn’t deep-fried.
When I moved to Maryland, I remember going to my first crab feast and I had some peel and eat shrimp. I almost ate the shell and all, but my friend Shannon stopped me and said “WAIT!! You need to peel it first!” Everyone got a laugh…I was so seafood sheltered – ha ha ha. Oh memories:-). Since then, my knowledge of and love for seafood has definitely developed.
One of my favorite smells in the world is that of some butter frying up any type of seafood. It triggers lots of things in my head – the beach, weekends, a cold cocktail…happiness. So last weekend when Jim came home from the store, he had a container of crab meat and bag of limes (among other groceries.) So I got out the juicer and Jim started making these crab cakes. I love cooking in the kitchen with my husband and we do it a lot on the weekends.
There were a few things that Jim wanted me to tell you about making them.
1) Get good crab meat. You either want lump or backfin and try to get it as local as you can. I think that the meat we had last week was from Virginia.
2) Pick it over for any shell. However, a bit won’t hurt you and I always just figure it will add a little crunch and protein:-)
3) Definitely let them set in the fridge for a good 45 minutes. They hold together better and the flavors have a chance to come together. I am sure there are other reasons to do this, but those are the ones that we know:-).
4) One of the big differentiators about a true Maryland crab cake is that it’s ALL about the crab. The rest of the ingredients either help to bind the crab into a cake or bring out the wonderful flavor of the crab.
I hope that if you have never had a Maryland Crab Cake you try this recipe and I guarantee you will be hooked. Even if you aren’t a huge seafood lover I can’t imagine not loving these after one bite! Paired with one of Jim’s Margaritas you can just sit back and enjoy the weekend!
A quick note on the Margaritas. We love these because they aren’t overly sweet and you can really taste all the flavors. Use a good Tequila and fresh squeezed lime juice for the best results. You could also use triple sec, but I think that the Cointreau gives it a much cleaner, lighter flavor. You will never go back to a mix after you try these!
Maryland Crab Cakes
2 Tb good Mayo
1/2 c panko bread crumbs (if you feel like you need a bit more to bind then you can add more)
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1-2 tsp dried parsley
1 beaten egg
2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 lb lump crabmeat
Mix first 7 ingredients together and then gently mix in the crab meat (be careful not to over mix) Form into 4-6 patties. Let sit covered in the fridge for 45 minutes and then fry in a little butter on the stove top until nice and browned on both sides.
These are also wonderful served as a sandwich on a toasted roll. I like them with a little cocktail sauce and some lettuce
2 ounces good Tequila (we used Cabo Wabo Silver)
1 1/2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
1 ounce Cointreau
Put all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. If you would like to rim the glasses with salt just dip them in some of the lime juice and then the salt. Enjoy!