So I’ve been looking for a way to combine two food tastes that I love: cheesy corn curls and blue crab. The natural (and easiest) decision was to make crab cakes. Although I’m originally from the Alabama Gulf Coast, I’ve lived most of my adult life in Maryland and have adapted to the way Marylanders deal with blue crabs. First of all, Marylanders steam crabs. Many Gulf Coast residents, like my family members in Mobile, boil crabs.
Crab-bejeweled gumbo is the thing (more like, the BOMB) in the South, while hefty crab cakes made with lump crab meat–and not much else–is beloved here in Maryland. Every crab cake recipe, I believe, is a spin of some previous crab-cake recipe that has been tweaked and adjusted to someone’s taste. I love the taste and texture of crunchy, cheesy snacks. Hence, my broiled, cheesy and crunchy crab cakes were created. I included Panko bread crumbs in the recipe to ensure the crunch factor!
|Cheesy Corn Curls|
Maryland blue crab numbers are climbing again after a serious decline. In 2008, the state began limiting crab harvests, shortening the crab harvest season, and regulating the type of gear used to catch crabs. In spring 2012, the state began seeking Marine Stewardship Council certification as a result of its sustainability commitment and practices.
The Monterey Bay “Seafood Watch” organization rates blue crab as a “Good Alternative” seafood, because blue crabs “have the potential to support a sustainable fishery,” according to “Seafood Watch.” In addition, only crabs caught in the U.S. are considered blue crabs. For more information about blue crabs and sustainability, check out the “Blue Crab Seafood Watch Report” from Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Recipe: Broiled Cheesy Crunch Mini Crab Cakes (Makes 12-14)
(Adapted from the “Maryland Lady Crab Cakes” recipe (page 133) in Chesapeake Bay Crabs by Judy Colbert–Pelican Publishing, 2011)
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup cheddar flavored baked corn snacks, shredded in food processor
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of vegan sandwich spread or eggless mayonnaise
2 large eggs (organic, if possible)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon ground, dry mustard
16 ounces Maryland lump blue crab meat
|Chilled Crab Cake Ingredients|
- Mix all ingredients, except crab, in a large bowl.
- Add crab and fold other ingredients around and among the crab with a silicon spatula. Do this gently to avoid breaking the crab apart too much.
- Refrigerate the crab meat and ingredients for one hour. The chilled ingredients can be shaped into balls easier if chilled.
- Remove the chilled crab ingredients from the refrigerator after an hour (or more) and use a small ice-cream scoop or large spoon to shape crab ingredients into small, palm-sized cakes.
- Place cakes (or shape them directly) onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Put crab cakes under the broiler for 5 minutes (watching them like the proverbial hawk) until they are bubbly and golden.