Crab cake creativity.Byline: ELAINE BEEBE LAPRIORE The Register-Guard
CRAB CAKES date back to the 16th century, when Indian women in the Chesapeake Bay Chesapeake Bay, inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, c.200 mi (320 km) long, from 3 to 30 mi (4.8–48 km) wide, and 3,237 sq mi (8,384 sq km), separating the Delmarva Peninsula from mainland Maryland. and Virginia. area mixed crab meat with herbs, vegetables and cornmeal corn·meal also corn meal
Meal made from corn, used in a wide variety of foods. Also called Indian meal.
Noun 1. and formed cakes, then fried them in bear fat.
The general preparation hasn't changed much since then: Bind the crab meat with a seasoned agent such as egg, mayonnaise, bread, crackers or cream, or a combination of some of these. Cakes are formed 3/4 inch thick, often chilled to firm them up, then cooked 4 to 5 minutes on a side, either broiled broil 1
v. broiled, broil·ing, broils
1. To cook by direct radiant heat, as over a grill or under an electric element.
2. To expose to great heat.
v. or fried in butter or oil.
But while the basic process remains simple, crab cakes in restaurants find themselves wearing all sorts of garb.
Chefs have stretched the pricey crab meat with rock shrimp, scallops and rock fish. They've tossed in red onion, green onion, all colors of bell pepper, jalapenos and any number of chopped herbs.
With cilantro, fresh ginger and Thai fish sauce fish sauce
See nuoc mam. (nam pla) added, the cakes are declared to be Asian-style. In some recipes, crab cakes are stuffed with zucchini, with glass noodles or with garlic mashed potatoes n. pl. 1. Potatoes which have been boiled and mashed to a pulpy consistency, usu. with sparing addition of milk, salt, butter, or other flavoring. It is a popular accompaniment to a meat course [U.S., 1900's], providing bulk and calories to a meal. .
The crab cake finds itself sauced far beyond the traditional tartar sauce and lemon wedge. It is parked beside roasted-corn relish, pineapple salsa and jicama ji·ca·ma
A crisp, sweet turnip-shaped root vegetable (Pachyrhizus erosus) used raw in salads and as crudités or cooked in stews. Also called Mexican turnip, yam bean. slaw slaw
n. Chiefly Southern U.S.
Noun 1. slaw - basically shredded cabbage
salad - food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing; usually consisting of with lemon aioli ai·o·li
A rich sauce of crushed garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, and olive oil.
[Provençal : ai, garlic (from Latin allium) + oli, oil (from Latin oleum . It lands on beds of assorted microgreens, leafed sprouts, Asian coleslaw cole·slaw also cole slaw
A salad of finely shredded raw cabbage and sometimes shredded carrots, dressed with mayonnaise or a vinaigrette. and radicchio ra·dic·chi·o
n. pl. ra·dic·chi·os
Any of several varieties of chicory, having red or red-spotted leaves that form globose or elongated heads. . It is drizzled with mandarin orange glaze, spicy mango sauce and streams of 30-year-old balsamic vinegar balsamic vinegar
1. An aromatic vinegar of Modena, Italy, made from white Trebbiano grape juice that is heated and aged in wooden barrels for several years.
2. Any of various similar vinegars. ; and is forced to sidle up Verb 1. sidle up - ingratiate oneself to; often with insincere behavior; "She is playing up to the chairman"
cotton up, cozy up, shine up, suck up, play up
ingratiate - gain favor with somebody by deliberate efforts to chipotle chi·pot·le
A ripe jalapeño pepper that has been dried and smoked for use in cooking.
[American Spanish, from Nahuatl xipotli.]
Noun 1. guacamole and wasabi-spinach mousse.
To his crab cake, chef Emeril Lagasse adds Parmesan cheese and the "Cajun holy trinity" of onion, green bell pepper and celery plus something called Essence of Emeril The Essence of Emeril (1994-96, 2000-Present) is a Food Network show hosted by the famed chef Emeril Lagasse.
In each episode, Emeril shares with his viewers some of his 'kicked-up' recipes, similar to those on Emeril Live , served awash in tomato-mustard coulis cou·lis
A thick sauce made of puréed fruit or vegetables: raspberry coulis.
[French, strained liquid, from Old French couleis, from Vulgar Latin .
Chef Bobby Flay dredges his crab cakes in pulverized pul·ver·ize
v. pul·ver·ized, pul·ver·iz·ing, pul·ver·iz·es
1. To pound, crush, or grind to a powder or dust.
2. To demolish.
v.intr. blue corn tortilla chips and after cooking, deposits them in a pool of spicy carrot-mango broth with mango-green onion relish.
In the hands of acclaimed French chef Georges Perrier, the dish becomes a cake of seafood mousse sauteed and swathed in mustard cream sauce.
At the Moosse Cafe in Mendocino, Calif., chef de cuisine Michael Gordon incorporates chopped dates and pancetta pan·cet·ta
Italian bacon that has been cured in salt and spices and then air-dried.
[Italian, diminutive of pancia, belly, from Latin pantex, pantic-.] , limes limes
In ancient Rome, a strip of open land along which troops advanced into unfriendly territory. It came to mean a Roman military road, fortified with watchtowers and forts. and tangerines, yellow bell pepper, dill and thyme; leaving one to wonder if there's room for the crab.
And a Texas restaurant chain called Old San Francisco Steakhouse offers a "Southwest Strawberry Crab Cake": a revolting prospect. Give me a plain crab cake any day.
Crab cakes from the Chesapeake can be mail-ordered and shipped overnight for considerable sums. And crab-and-shrimp cakes never leave the menu at Jake's Famous Crawfish crawfish: see crayfish. in Portland and all the other restaurants in the McCormick & Schmick's chain.
But in truth, crab cakes are not that hard to make, with crab meat in season and the holidays an excuse to splurge.
"The key is to get as much crab in as possible, and still have the crab cake retain its shape," says Billy Hahn, Jake's executive chef. His crab-and-shrimp cake is 60 to 70 percent crab, plus bay shrimp, egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, chopped celery and onion, with a little cayenne, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce for flavoring.
"The trick is, when you make it, is to not overmix it," Hahn continues. "The more you overmix it, the more the crab disappears ... they come out more like crab dumplings than crab cakes. You should be able to take the crab cake and break it apart and see pieces of crab, ideally."
A gentle roll in panko, the fluffy, Japanese-style bread crumb, creates the cake's crunchy coating. The cakes are quickly deep-fried and served with a ginger-jalapeno mayonnaise.
Jake's Dungeness-and-shrimp cakes differ from the Chesapeake standard in a few ways. You won't find a bread-crumb coating back east; and a crab cake's simply wrong without the piquant depth of a Chesapeake seasoning such as Old Bay.
So try different recipes: experiment. "Don't be afraid to play around," Hahn says. "That's how great things are created."
Dungeness Crab Cakes
Until skyrocketing crab meat prices forced a change in the recipe a few years ago, Billy Hahn says, this cake was the standard at all McCormick & Schmick's restaurants. As you can order the current crab-and-shrimp incarnation at Jake's, we thought we'd include this recipe instead, from the 1991 "Jake's Seafood Cookbook."
1 1/2 pounds crab meat, picked over for shell
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 celery stalks, finely minced
1 small onion, finely minced
1 small green pepper, finely minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Additional bread crumbs for coating the crab cakes
1/2 cup oil for frying (or more)
1 cup tartar sauce
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Combine all the ingredients except the bread crumbs for coating, the oil and the tartar sauce.
Form the mixture into 8 crab cakes, 3 to 3 1/2 inches by 1 inch thick, or 30 to 40 hors d'oeuvres.
Coat cakes on both sides with the additional bread crumbs, patting the crumbs lightly into cakes.
If you are making large cakes, put about 1/4 cup oil into a 10-inch to 12-inch saute sau·té
tr.v. sau·téed, sau·té·ing, sau·tés
To fry lightly in fat in a shallow open pan.
A dish of food so prepared. pan and cook over medium heat. Cook 4 cakes at a time, 4 minutes per side. They should be nicely browned on both sides and heated through.
Keep the 4 cooked cakes warm in the oven while you prepare the remaining 4. Use fresh oil for the second batch.
If you're making mini cakes, put the entire 1/2 cup oil in the saute pan and fry 10 to 15 at a time, turning once until dark brown. You may need to replace the oil once between batches. Keep cooked mini cakes warm in oven while you cook the rest. Serve with tartar sauce.
Makes 8 cakes, 3 1/2 inches in diameter, or 30 to 40 mini cakes for hors d'oeuvres.
Gertie's Crab Cakes
"Gertie Cleary hailed from Baltimore's Greenmount Avenue and her cooking was legendary throughout St. Ann's parish and northeast Baltimore," writes John Shields in "Chesapeake Bay Cooking." "I must, however, admit my bias. Gertie was my grandmother, and I grew up on these wonderful spiced morsels of crab. This recipe is the most traditional style of Bay crab cakes. It uses a slightly spiced mixture of mayonnaise and egg, and is lightly bound together with cracker crumbs."
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Chesapeake seasoning, such as Old Bay
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1 pound backfin crab meat, picked over
1/3 cup saltine cracker crumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Clarified butter and/or olive oil, for sauteing
Tartar Sauce (recipe follows) and lemon wedges, for accompaniment
Mix the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, Chesapeake seasoning, Worcestershire and Tabasco together in a blender or mixing bowl until frothy froth·y
adj. froth·i·er, froth·i·est
1. Made of, covered with, or resembling froth; foamy.
2. Playfully frivolous in character or content: a frothy French farce. .
Place the crab meat in a bowl and sprinkle on the cracker crumbs. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Gently toss or fold the ingredients together, taking care not to break up the lumps of crab meat.
Form the cakes by hand or with an ice cream scoop into 8 mounds about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick. Do not pack the mixture too firmly. The cakes should be as loose as possible, yet still hold their shape. Place the cakes on a tray or platter lined with wax paper, cover, and refrigerate re·frig·er·ate
tr.v. re·frig·er·at·ed, re·frig·er·at·ing, re·frig·er·ates
1. To cool or chill (a substance).
2. To preserve (food) by chilling. for at least 1 hour before cooking.
Pour oil into a heavy skillet to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Heat the oil and fry the crab cakes, a few at a time, until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted utensil to paper towels to drain.
Or broil the cakes: Slip them under a preheated broiler broiler
a young (about 8 weeks old) male or female chicken weighing 3 to 3.5 lb. until nicely browned, turning to cook evenly, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Or saute the cakes: Heat a small amount of clarified butter or olive oil, or a combination, in a skillet and saute the cakes, turning several times, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total cooking time.
Serve at once, with Tartar Sauce and lemon wedges on the side. Serves 4.
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Senator Barb's Spicy Back Bay Crab Cakes
From U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Baltimore.
3 slices white bread
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is currently marketed in the United States by McCormick & Company, and produced in Maryland. It is named for the Chesapeake Bay area where it was developed by German immigrant Gustav Brunn in the 1940s, and where the seasoning
1 tablespoon snipped parsley (optional)
1 pound jumbo lump or backfin crab meat
Vegetable oil, for frying
Clarified butter or olive oil, for sauteing
Beat the egg in a bowl. Remove the crusts from the bread and break the slices into small pieces; add to the egg. Mix in the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Old Bay seasoning and parsley and beat well.
Place the crab meat in a bowl and pour the egg mixture over the top. Gently toss or fold the ingredients together, taking care not to break up the lumps of crab meat.
Form the cakes by hand or with an ice-cream scoop into 8 mounded rounds about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 -inch thick. Do not pack the mixture too firmly. The cakes should be as loose as possible yet still hold their shape. Place the cakes on a tray or platter covered with wax paper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cooking.
Fry the crab cakes: Pour oil into a heavy skillet to a depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Heat the oil and fry the crab cakes, a few at a time, until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
Remove with a slotted utensil to paper towels to drain.
Or broil: Slip crab cakes under a preheated broiler until nicely browned, turning to cook evenly, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Or saute: Heat a small amount of clarified butter or olive oil, or a combination, in a skillet and saute the cakes, turning several times, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total cooking time.
Georges Perrier's Crab Cakes With Shrimp
From "Cuisine Rapide" by Pierre Franey.
1 pound lump crab meat
3/4 pound unshelled un·shell
tr.v. un·shelled, un·shell·ing, un·shells
To remove from a shell.
Adj. 1. unshelled - of animals or fruits that have no shell
shelled - of animals or fruits that have a shell shrimp
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions or scallions
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Parsley Butter Sauce (recipe follows)
Pick over the crab meat to remove any cartilage or shell. Leave the lumps as large as possible.
Shell and devein Verb 1. devein - remove the dark dorsal vein of (a shrimp)
get rid of, remove - dispose of; "Get rid of these old shoes!"; "The company got rid of all the dead wood" the shrimp. Put the shrimp in a food processor or blender and add the egg, cream, salt and pepper
Add the crab meat, green onions, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Blend gently but thoroughly. Shape the mixture into 10 cakes.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick non·stick
Permitting easy removal of adherent food particles: a frying pan with a nonstick surface.
Adjective skillet and add the cakes, several at a time. Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer the cakes to a warm platter as they are cooked. Continue adding oil as necessary. Serve with the sauce spooned over.
Yield: 5 servings.
Parsley Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fish broth or bottled clam juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon coarse or Meaux mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Combine the shallots, vinegar and wine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half. Add the broth and cream and bring to a boil. Cook at a rolling boil about 45 seconds.
Swirl in the butter. Add the salt and pepper and stir in the mustard and parsley. Yields about 3/4 cup.
Wildwood Wildwood, city (1990 pop. 4,484), Cape May co., SE N.J., on an island off Cape May; settled 1882, inc. as a city 1911. It has large commercial fisheries and is a popular summer seaside resort with many vintage motels and other buildings from the 1940s–60s. Dungeness Crab Cakes With Orange, Fennel fennel, common name for several perennial herbs, genus Foeniculum vulgare of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), related to dill. The strawlike foliage and the seeds are licorice-scented and are used (especially in Italian cooking) for flavoring. and Watercress watercress, hardy perennial European herb (Nasturtium officinale) of the family Cruciferae (mustard family), widely naturalized in North America, found in or around water. Salad
"At Wildwood," writes Portland chef Cory Schreiber in "Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest," "we serve our crab cakes wrapped in potatoes, as the blanched blanch also blench
v. blanched also blenched, blanch·ing also blench·ing, blanch·es also blench·es
1. To take the color from; bleach.
2. strings offer a wonderful crunchy texture when pan-fried. The contrast between the crispy outside of the cake and the creamy inside filling is irresistible, and the dish remains a best-seller on our menu."
For crab cakes:
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup homemade dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Asiago or pecorino pe·co·ri·no
n. pl. pe·co·ri·nos
An Italian cheese, especially Romano, made from ewe's milk.
[Italian, of ewes, pecorino, from pecora, ewe, sheep, from Latin, cheese
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound fresh lump Dungeness or other crab meat, picked through for shell, rinsed and drained well
4 russet rus·set
1. A moderate to strong brown.
2. A coarse reddish-brown to brown homespun cloth.
3. A winter apple with a rough reddish-brown skin.
4. A russet Burbank.
adj. potatoes, peeled, cut into strings on a Japanese turning slicer or box grater, and soaked in water until ready to use
For orange, fennel and watercress salad:
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 oranges, peeled and segmented, juice reserved
1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced by hand or on a mandoline man·do·line
1. A utensil consisting of a base into which adjustable blades are set, used to slice or cut fruits and vegetables.
2. A mandolin.
[Variant of mandolin.]
4 ounces watercress or mixed baby greens
1 onion, thinly sliced
For crab cake batter:
1/2 cup flour
4 to 5 tablespoons canola oil
To form the crab cakes: In a small saute pan or skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, or until translucent.
In a large bowl, combine shallots, bread crumbs, cheese, lemon juice, mayonnaise, beaten egg, mustard, bell pepper, parsley, salt, and cayenne. Gently mix the crab meat into the mixture. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and form into balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
If potatoes were cut on a Japanese turning slicer: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and blanch blanch
to become pale. the potato strings for 2 minutes. Transfer to an ice water bath; set aside.
To prepare the salad: Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a salad bowl, combine the oranges, juice, fennel, watercress or greens, and onion. Set aside to toss just before serving with the cakes.
To cook the crab cakes: In a small bowl, beat together the remaining 2 eggs and pour into a shallow bowl. Put the flour and potato strings in 2 separate shallow bowls. Remove the crab balls from the refrigerator. Flatten each ball to make a 3/4 -inch-thick cake. Dip each crab cake in the flour, then the egg. Pack a layer of potato strings around each cake.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook the crab cakes until golden brown on each side, adding more oil as needed as needed prn. See prn order. during the cooking process.
To serve: Toss the salad with the dressing and distribute evenly onto 6 plates. Top each salad with 2 cakes and serve immediately.
Makes 12 crab cakes; serves 6 as a lunch entree or dinner appetizer.
Features reporter Elaine Beebe Lapriore can be reached by phone at 338-2358 and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crab-and-shrimp cakes at Jake's Famous Crawfish in Portland are 60 to 70 percent crab, plus bay shrimp, egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, chopped celery and onion, cayenne pepper and Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. .I remember watching a colleague and friend, Georges Perrier, owner-chef of Le Bec-Fin restaurant in Philadelphia, demonstrate a new recipe for crab cakes," writes Pierre Franey in "Cuisine Rapide." "Using a food processor, he prepared a mousse-like combination of shrimp, egg and cream. Then he gently blended in the lump the whole together; in gross.
See also: Lump crab meat. The mixture was shaped into patties, cooked in oil until golden brown on both sides, and served with a parsley butter sauce. This made a delectable luncheon dish and might serve as a first course to a more complex meal." "The crab mixture could be made at least two or three hours in advance and refrigerated re·frig·er·ate
tr.v. re·frig·er·at·ed, re·frig·er·at·ing, re·frig·er·ates
1. To cool or chill (a substance).
2. To preserve (food) by chilling. until ready to cook. It might even be shaped into patties and wrapped in plastic wrap before chilling." Crab and Shrimp cakes from Jake's Restaurant in Portland. (NICOLE NICOLE Nearly Intelligent Computer Operated Language Examiner (chatterbot) DEVITO/The Register-Guard) Wednesday, December 12, 2001 "The key is to get as much crab in as possible, and still have the crab cake retain its shape," says Billy Hahn, Jake's executive chef. His crab-and-shrimp cake is 60 to 70 percent crab, plus bay shrimp, egg, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, chopped celery and onion, with a little cayenne, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce for flavoring. "The trick is, when you make it, is to not overmix it," Hahn continues. "The more you overmix it, the more the crab disappears ... they come out more like crab dumplings than crab cakes. You should be able to take the crab cake and break it apart and see pieces of crab, ideally."Jake's Famous Crawfish in Portland