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Football Food: Maryland Crab Cakes

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Crab cakes and football. That's what Maryland does.

Stay away Jameis
Stay away Jameis
ndmspaint

AND NOW it's time for crab everybody.  We resisted the low-hanging fruit that was pre-FSU crab legs so we could do our long time rivals from Annapolis the courtesy of taking a stab at their revered Maryland crab cakes.  World famous for a reason, these crab cakes rank high among many seafood lovers' dream dishes.  What makes them so special you ask?  The answer is as deceptively simple as its own makeup:  Maryland blue crab.  Yes, you can make crab-flavored fried breadballs out of any old claw meat, but when you use lump Maryland blue crab meat from crabs that have spent their entire lives accruing next level crab funk in the stagnant briny waters of the Chesapeake Bay, you are making a pillowy decadent statement that says "I care," or in my case from landlocked Denver, "I paid my fishmonger an arm and a leg."

For this recipe I polled my good friend Pipes, a Baltimore-ish native, whose mom graciously provided her famous crab cake recipe asking nothing in return.  On behalf of the OFD football food-eating community, we thank you Momma Pipes.

Karen's Famous Crab Cakes

Ingredients

1 lb. backfin or lump crabmeat
2 eggs, beaten
1 T. old bay seasoning, and more to taste
1/3 c Dijon mustard
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/4 c chopped parsley
1/2 c mayo
Dash Worcestershire sauce


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Method

First thing we do is gently toss up that lump crab with the bread crumbs in a large bowl (I used panko, though  I've heard of crushed saltines and Ritz as well -- your call here).

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Next we combine all the other ingredients in a bowl.  The idea here is to use just barely enough wet stuff to bind the crab together into patties.  In truth I probably used slightly less mustard and mayo than this recipe called for, but I don't have quite as many hungry mouths in my house to feed as Momma Pipes presumably does.

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Pour the mixed ingredients into the bowl of breadcrumb-tossed crab.

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As gently as possible, fold everything together.  You want to preserve the lumpiness of the crab as much as possible, so getting a perfectly homogeneous mix isn't the priority here.

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This is what mine looks like.  Even my delicate hands broke up the crab considerably, so it's important to note again to be gentle.

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Once you have everything folded together, you'll want to cover and refrigerate for an hour.  This will help everything stick together when you are cooking.

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After an hour (or longer if you need), take the mix out and shape into patties.  I opted for 4 huge cakes, but you can certainly go smaller.

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Next, heat some olive oil or butter in a pan and sautee about 3 or 4 minutes per side.

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Be very careful when you flip.  These things are barely held together because you want the highest ratio of crab to filler as possible.  Don't get discouraged if they start falling apart because you can piece them back together before serving.

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Plate with a lemon wedge and enjoy!  And beat the tar out of Navy!

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