The Secret to Succulent Crabcakes

When making deviled crab or crab cakes, how do you prepare the crab — cooked or uncooked?

I sure hope you’re not talking about whole crabs. Even though I love the meat from spicy-boiled hard-shell blue crabs on the Eastern shore, I always buy canned crabmeat for cakes. Most canned crabmeat is fully cooked, or at least pasteurized.

There is, however, one important step you should take before forming your crab cakes:

Remove all shell particles from the canned crabmeat before it’s prepared and served. To locate, spread the crabmeat on a baking sheet in a thin layer. Place the sheet under the broiler, four to six inches from the heat. Broil for 30 to 40 seconds. The shell pieces will turn bright white or red under the broiler so they are easy to spot. Remove the sheet from the broiler. Simply pick and discard the shell pieces to clean the crabmeat completely.

Club 18 Crab Cakes with Tommy’s Cocktail Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 1/4 cup minced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons minced pimentos
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • dash ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups lump backfin crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Tommy’s Cocktail Sauce

In a small skillet, heat oil. Add celery, onions and green peppers and sauté over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, pimentos, mustard, white pepper, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Fold in crabmeat and 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs until lightly blended. Form mixture into four round cakes.

Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Dredge crabcakes in crumbs and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, or until the cakes are browned. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with:

Tommy’s Cocktail Sauce

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped navel orange sections
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir to blend thoroughly. Cover and let stand in refrigerator overnight. Makes 1 cup.

What you have in your mind?