Thursday, July 14, 2016

Maryland-Style Crab Cakes


After recently visiting Baltimore, we wanted to learn more about the local food culture.  For anyone who has been there, you'll know that crab cakes and Old Bay seasoning are staples of the area.

Old Bay was originally developed by a Jewish man named Gustav Brunn, who fled Germany in 1939.  After establishing himself on the Chesapeake Bay (which stretches from Virginia Beach to the Pennsylvania border), his seasoning took the name "Old Bay" from the iconic overnight mail service that ran from Baltimore, MD to Norfolk, VA.  The Baltimore Steam Packet Company was nicknamed "the Old Bay Line," which survived attacks during the The Civil War and government requisition for WWII.  After reopening as an automobile ferry service, the company went under... but the Old Bay seasoning continued to gain popularity as a seafood seasoning, since it kept tavern-goers thirsty.  In 1990, McCormick & Co bought the Old Bay brand (with Zatarain's and Lowry's following).

Contents of Old Bay seasoning are:
  • celery salt (ground celery seed and salt)
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • ground mustard powder
  • bay leaf powder
  • other trace spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cardamom, etc)

Today's recipe is based on one developed by Jenn @ Once Upon A Chef:  LINK
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground mustard
  • 1 large stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons celery leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • ~1 cup panko
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for cooking

To the chopping block!

Finely chop celery and onion.

Mix together all ingredients.

Scoop the melange into patties.

Shallow fry the patties in canola oil.

Flip when they are golden brown (and delicious).

Choose your favorite sauce and enjoy!

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