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…
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.