Once again, I can’t promise you specific measurements. Follow the basic rule that you can always add more – but you can’t take any away!
What you need:
- Crabmeat – preferably lump, the kind you buy in a plastic container in the seafood section by the deli, not in a can. Use a can if necessary.
- Peppers – red, green, yellow – whatever you can afford
- Mushrooms – I use white, but you should experiment with others
- Cracked black pepper (and some white if you have it)
- Cayenne pepper
- Bread crumbs or small bread cubes (optional)
- English Mustard or Remoulade (optional)
Place the crabmeat in a bowl, draining excess water from it. If you used special crabmeat, it will have shells. A quick way to remove them is to toast the crab lightly in an oven or toaster oven. The shells will turn white making them easier to see for removal.
Finely chop some mushrooms and peppers . The more the merrier. Believe me, mushrooms are awesome in this recipe. Most people will catch a delightful flavor but have no idea what it is.
Sautee the peppers and mushrooms in butter until tender. Let mixture cool. Add to crab.
Squeeze on some lemon. Add black & white pepper, a pinch of cayenne, a shot of tobacco and one of worsteshire.
Add about 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise to start (assuming you used only one container of crab.) You can always add more mayo!
If you need to make it go a little farther, I prefer to add small pieces of white bread. Don’t use wheat – it will change the flavor. If you need to go the bread crumb route, make sure they are plain and you use a small bit at a time. You don’t want the cakes to feel dry.
Use your hands (hopefully you washed them before you started) to mix. Gently tossing with your hands prevents crab from breaking up.
I make the cakes right away and then refrigerate. You may want to try refrigeration first. You can make them in a regular hamburger-style. My suggestion is to make them smaller. I take a small handful in my left hand, and squeeze it gently between my thumb and pointer finger, forming the sides of the cake. I use the right hand to flatten the top and bottom of the cake. This gives it more of an oval egg-shape. I think it’s elegant.
Heat up a pan and then lower heat to about medium-high. This really depends on your pan and practice makes perfect. I prefer cast iron. But hey, I won’t fault you for using non-stick. Melt a few pats of butter in the pan. Do not substitute olive oil. This is a fatty meal. Get used to the idea.
Place the crabcakes in the pan. Let one side brown and then gently flip them over. Tongs may be helpful. It only takes a few minutes. Crab meat is already cooked when you buy it. So you are basically browning and heating. You are not cooking the crab.
For an appetizer, serve 3 of the babies on a small plate on a bed of English Mustard. More traditional is to serve it on Remoulade. But the mustard can be found in most grocery stores and is simply lovely. If you made larger cakes, go with one large one. Four smaller ones or two larger ones are plenty for a meal.