Like most good Southern boys, Mr. Duval proudly stated that his Mama’s crab cakes are the ‘best in the world’. Once you try this easy recipe, you’ll most likely agree that Mama Duval knows her stuff when it comes to cooking.
You can prepare the ingredients ahead and store in the refrigerator. At meal time, remove from the refrigerator; blend in the cracker crumbs, and sauté. Serve these scrumptious gems with a simple tartar sauce**** and a side of creamy coleslaw.
Makes 6 large crab cakes or 18 Hors d’Oeuvres
1 pound crab meat*
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise**
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 small onion, peeled and grated
1/2 tablespoon mustard powder***
18 Ritz crackers, crumbled
Butter for cooking
Combine all ingredients, except the cracker crumbs, in a large bowl. Blend in the cracker crumbs right before sautéing.
For meal sized portions, form into 6 hamburger sized patties. To make Hors d’Oeuvres, form into bite sized patties.
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to warm.
Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium to high heat. Do not over heat the pan as the butter will burn. Sauté the crab cake patties for about 10 minutes on each side. It is best to sauté in small batches (about 3 large patties in a 12 inch skillet). The crab cakes should be crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.
When the first batch is done, transfer the patties to the warm baking sheet and return, uncovered, to the warm oven. Repeat until all crab cakes are cooked. If necessary, wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel and melt more butter, between batches.
* Jumbo crab meat is best for large patties. Lump or backfin crab meat is suitable for both types.
** I recommend either Best Foods/Hellmann’s or homemade. Do not substitute with whipped dressings.
*** Coleman’s double superfine mustard powder is the best.
**** Make a simple tartar sauce by combining a little grated onion, a squeeze of fresh lemon and mayonnaise. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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