Thursday, December 3, 2009

Maryland Crabcakes w/ Lemon Dill Sauce

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The East Coast (Mid-Atlantic region specifically) is best represented by their seafood and that we did for our Regional Thanksgiving this year. Maryland came to mind and naturally, crabcakes was the first food that I relate this state to. Please don't commit a culinary sin and substitute imitation crab in crabcakes. Seriously, that's a major foodie no-no! Instead, splurge and get the good stuff, real lump crab from a local fish monger or if you have a Trader Joe's grocery store, check out their canned lump crabmeat. (Your local supermarket may even carry them too.)

I found the following recipe on a Maryland site, assuming they know how to make the best crabcakes. In fact, if you click the link provided below the title, you'll find some variations to other Maryland crabcake recipes. For my party, I kept it simple and made the traditional version reflected on the site.

One thing I did change was the breadcrumbs. Plain breadcrumbs are just flavorless... and seasoned ones sometimes don't bring out enough flavor. So instead of using breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs, I used seasoned croutons which I processed in my food processor. The flavor really shined through and kept such a great texture. For the seafood seasoning called for in the recipe, you can use the traditional Old Bay Seasoning or give the Chesapeake Bay Seasoning a try!

To accompany these crabcakes, I used Paula Deen's recipe for a Lemon Dill Sauce. It was perfect with just the right about of freshness and tang to highlight the crabcakes.

Both the crabcake and lemon dill sauce can also be prepared in advance too...

2 Days Before: Process toasted stale bread or croutons in your food processor. Prepare the lemon dill sauce until ready to serve.

1 Day Before: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill until ready to fry.

Day Of: Heat oil and fry crabcakes. Serve with lemon dill sauce.




Maryland Crabcakes
recipe adapted from Hometown Annapolis


1 pound backfin crab meat
½ cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs (or processed seasoned croutons)
2 eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (Old Bay)
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup canola oil for frying

Carefully remove all cartilage from crab meat. In a bowl, mix together eggs, mayonnaise, seafood seasoning, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Add crab meat, mix evenly and gently. Add cracker crumbs/processed croutons evenly.

Heat up oil in a saute pan. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out the crab mixture, carefully flatten with a spatula and fry in hot oil for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Crab cakes can also be broiled for a few minutes on each side until browned. Serve with lemon dill sauce, recipe below.

Lemon Dill Sauce
recipe from Paula Deen

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Refrigerate until chilled. The sauce will thicken as it chills.

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