Our resident crab connoisseur, Babe takes his crustaceans very seriously. But we’re not talking about garden variety snow crab found at you local supermarket, or those sad things they’re peddling at seafood restaurant chains. We’re talking true, blue Maryland crabs fresh out the Chesapeake. And before you say something, yes I meant to say “crabs.” It’s correct…honest…I looked it up.
Blue crabs are more than a seasonal, east coast delicacy. There’s a culture to it that only true crab people understand. A musician by trade, the mere mention of blue crabs turns Babe into a Renaissance man with expertise in a myriad of topics:
Astronomy – Ya know, the reason these crabs are so big is because of the moon.
Chemistry – The best crabs have to have the right mix of beer, Old Bay, garlic and crushed red pepper.
Economics – Crabs are so expensive right now. It’s a slow season and the demand for big crabs is high.
Politics – You gotta know somebody if you really want to biggest crabs they have. Restaurants always reserve the biggest crabs for certain people. That’s why it’s important to get to know the manager or owner.
Newton’s Laws – You can’t just go by the size of the crabs because I’ve seen really big ones that were hallow inside. The weight is the true test of a good crab.
Over the years, Babe has gone to great lengths to perfect his crab experience. We’ve traveled far and wide in search of the biggest, most perfectly seasoned crabs we would find. We’ve discovered a few gems that we look forward to visiting every season. This time of year, Babe starts to get really antsy about the start of blue crab season. All it takes is the slightest hint of Spring and he’s on the phone checking to see when our local crabber will be up and running. The bad news is blue crab season doesn’t start for another month. Thankfully there’s crab cakes to tide us over.
- 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
- 1/2 lb lump crab meat
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs old bay
- 1 tbs coarse ground mustard
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 2 tsp basil
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Combine all ingredients, taking care not to break up crab meat.
- Spoon out portions of mixture and form into patties.
- Arrange patties in one layer on a baking sheet.
- Chill crab cakes in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium heat.
- Brown crab cakes in batches, 5 minutes on each side.
- Keep cooked crab cakes in warm oven until ready to serve.
- Tip: For appetizer sized portions, spoon out portions using a small cookie scoop.