Crab cakes and jags.

 5 replies

First the football stuff: the term JAG, meaning “just a guy”, when referring to bottom half of the roster NFL athletes, for instance, always seemed a derogatory label to me. I am willing to be corrected if I am under a misapprehension. I say derogatory because it appears to off-handedly dismiss the effort, hardship and determination required for that player to get to where they are. The fact that they may be a role player or backup does not diminish their accomplishment. On the other hand, maybe it is intended as a short form label to identify the quality of that player’s contribution with no intended disrespect for the person. If the latter is true then I should not be upset at its use. What say you? Meanwhile…

Crab Cakes

8 small or 4 large crab cakes
Allow time to refrigerate the cakes after you shape them so that they will hold together when you cook them.

Heat in a small skillet over medium heat:

     2 Tbsp butter or olive oil

When the butter foam has subsided or the oil is hot, add:

     1/2 Cup minced scallions

     (1 Tbsp minced red bell pepper)

     1 Tsp minced garlic

Cook, stirring, until the scallions are tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. set aside. Gently mix in a large bowl:

     1 Pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage

     1 egg, lightly beaten

     1/4 Cup mayonnaise

     1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

     (1/4 Tsp ground red – hot/paprika – pepper

     Salt and black pepper to taste

     (1 Tsp crab boil seasoning)

     1/4 Cup minced parsley, cilantro, or dill

     2 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs

Add the sautéed vegetables and mix well. Place on a plate

     1 to 2 Cups fresh bread crumbs, toasted

Shape the crab mixture into 8 small or 4 large cakes. One at a time, coat each cake in the bread crumbs, pressing lightly to make sure the bread crumbs adhere. Place the cakes on a rack or on a plate lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

Heat in a large skillet over medium heat:

     1/4 Cup butter (1/2 stick) or 1/4 Cup clarified butter or vegetable oil

When the fat is hot, add the cakes without crowding – cook them in 2 batches if necessary. Adjust the heat so that the fat is sizzling but not burning the bread crumbs, and cook, turning the cakes until both sides are nicely browned. Smaller cakes need a total of 8-10 minutes, larger ones 12-15 minutes. If cooking in batches, keep the finished cakes warm in a 300 F oven while you complete the cooking. Serve hot with:

     Lemon wedges, Aïoli, flavored mayonnaise or Salsa Fresca.

Joy of Cooking – 75th Anniversary, page 381, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, 2006, Scribner – Simon and Schuster, New York.

AG: Joy of Cooking is a good foundation piece to any cookbook library, it provides very useful information about various meats, fish, shellfish, legumes, fruits and vegetables etc and cooking guides in addition to 4500 recipes. I have not tried this recipe but I am confident it provides a solid template for preparing crab cakes; as always recipes can be adjusted and tinkered with as you are inclined. Italics indicates my addition.



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04/24/2021 8:13 am

Thanks for coming through on the crab cake recipe for me larch… I’ll see ya in the kitchen…

Reply to  larch
04/24/2021 3:25 pm

Recipes are only suggestions, outside of baking, that’s science.

04/24/2021 1:54 am

I say that it’s a very nice recipe, though not really my taste, which is unimportant here. As for JAG, depending on context, I’d say it basically refers to anyone who’s not at the high end of their position, but without any real basis in relative worth. As “camp bodies”, JAGs are something a bit different, but basically, it’s like calling Anthony Sherman a ‘blue-collar, lunch-pail kind of player’. Same thing, and every team not only needs them, but they constantly try to upgrade there, too.

In short, a semi-slur in a few contexts, lacking real malice, or shorthand without implications. That said, it can be used insultingly, but there are very few words that cannot possibly be used as part of an insult. Emotional loading: Minimal.

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