Celebrate National Crabmeat Day by frying yourself a fresh batch of crab cakes using a nutty variant recipe from southern cook Paula Deen.
Seafood lovers, rejoice! It's a big day for those who especially like crabmeat and all things made with it, because March 9 is National Crabmeat Day. Now, it would be so easy to just go up to the nearest seafood place or crab shack or whatever and order yourself some crab legs or some such (and you can), but you could also get you some fresh crabs and make yourself a dish to your liking.
It's uncertain where National Crabmeat Day originated but major commercial fishing of blue crabs out of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland began in the mid-1800s. (Incidentally, "Chesapeake" is a Susquehannock word meaning "great shellfish bay.") According to Mahalo, blue crabs make up 50 percent of all annual fish landings in the state of Maryland. The blue crab, which is harvested along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas as well, also happens to be the state crustacean of Maryland, a state famous for their crab cakes.
Crab cakes are small and light and can add variety to dinners as well as lunches. Of course, there's no law that says you can't have crab cakes for breakfast, either. (Crab harvesters and fishermen, not to mention crabmeat distributors, everywhere applaud you...) But being petite and light in size and weight are as nothing to the caloric content. Crab meat, like that of the blue crab, can pack a caloric punch, according to Livestrong.com. An average blue crab, which yields about 3 ounces of crabmeat, contains about 334 calories. And Dungeness crab will net the consumer twice as many (it also yields twice the amount of crabmeat). So those on a diet or looking to trim calories, be forewarned!
So let's cook some crab cakes, shall we?
Easy Crab Cake Recipes
2 cans (6 ounces each) Crabmeat (drained, flaked, cartilage removed), or two boiled and cleaned Blue crab, or one Dungeness
1 cup Bread crumbs (seasoned, divided)
1 Egg (lightly beaten)
1/4 cup Green Onions (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Sweet Red Pepper (finely chopped)
1/4 cup Mayonnaise (reduced fat, if desired)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Butter
Mix crab, 1/3 cup bread crumbs and all other ingredients (except butter) in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into eight portions and shape into rounded 2-in. balls. Roll balls in leftover bread crumbs. Then flatten to about 1/2 in. of thickness.
Cook crab cakes in large skillet (nonstick preferably) in butter for just 3 or 4 minutes (each side) -- or until they're golden brown.
Total time: About 25 minutes.
Paula Deen has a recipe that's just a little more involved, but not much. Instead of bread crumbs, she's uses crackers for filler (she suggests Ritz-style); instead of coating with bread crumbs, she dusts with flour; and she cooks her mixture in peanut oil.
Here's her ingredients, straight from her cooking show (and via FoodNetwork.com):
1 pound crabmeat, picked free of shells
1/3 cup crushed crackers (recommended: Ritz)
3 green onions (green and white parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
Flour, for dusting
1/2 cup peanut oil
Mix all the ingredients, save the peanut oil and the flour, in a large bowl. Make patties, dust with flour. Pan fry in peanut oil for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Ms. Deen suggests a dipping sauce (if desired). Total time: About 35 to 40 minutes.
Here's another suggestion: Crab Cakes topped with Hollandaise Sauce. (See recipes: It will take about another 20 minutes or so to prepare.)
And there you have it. Two recipes to make crab cakes. Have a wonderful National Crabmeat Day and bon apeitit.
(photo credit: Stu Spivack, Creative Commons)