Crabmeat ranks among my favorite foods. Best when eaten freshly picked, it also works well in a variety dishes, especially crab cakes, a classic in our region.
While many like to add ingredients to crab recipes, I say do as little as possible to compete with what Mother Nature gives us.
Years ago on Warrenton’s Main Street (I live in Warrenton), we had the wonderful restaurant, Old Town Café. Its late chef and owner, Inger Lisa made what I remember as the best crab cakes ever. I once asked her the secret of her crab cake and she told me she used egg whites versus the whole egg and emphatically NO filler — no breading of any sort.
I’ve tried to recreate her recipe and believe I’ve come pretty close. While I don’t think she used capers, for me they add a nice touch.
I’ll continue to work on this, but in the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy them.
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons of real mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
¼ cup capers, drained (optional)
1 pound lump or back fin crab meat (Be sure to pick over for any hard and sharp cartilage.)
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg whites, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, Old Bay and parsley and mix well. Gently add the crabmeat and then the capers and stir until well blended. But, be careful not to shred the crabmeat. Shape into 4 crab cakes (about ½ cup each). You can use a 2-inch ramekin or a biscuit cutter for a mold. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate until 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Heat oven to 375° and bake crab cakes for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil brown crab cakes. Watch them carefully!
Garnish with fresh minced parsley and lemon and serve with fresh sliced tomatoes and a fresh corn salad.