Wei and I are both sort of Maryland natives. We were born elsewhere, but we grew up there. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary that I made a batch of crab cakes before the summer was over!
A note about purchasing the crab: if you're more hard core than me, you could buy your own Chesapeake blue crabs, steam them, and pick them until you have one pound of meat. It's probably cheaper that way too. Instead I chose to buy just the meat. I got 8 ounces of jumbo lump meat (the most expensive) and 8 ounces of claw meat (the least expensive). I think it was a good compromise; the lump gave the cakes enough heft, and the claw meat filled them out well.
I found this recipe on a Chowhound message board; it was attributed to Blanche, the late grandmother of the poster's best friend, and a "true Maryland lady."
6 saltine crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 pound crab meat, picked through for pieces of shell
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Form the mixture into 6 or 8 patties and set on a baking sheet. Chill the cakes in the refridgerator for at least 45 minutes--this will help them firm up and keep them from falling apart when you're trying to cook them.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Carefully add the cakes to the pan when the butter is melted and do not touch them for 6 minutes. Flip them over and let cook on the other side for 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and pat them down with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
I toasted up some French bread rolls to make crab cake sandwiches, but these are also just lovely on their own, with a little lemon juice squeezed over the top.
Rating: This is awesome
Many thanks to Blanche for the perfect no-filler crab cakes!