Making Recipe: Maryland Crab Cakes with Quick Tartar Sauce

Making Recipe: Maryland Crab Cakes with Quick Tartar Sauce

When you live in Maryland, eating crabs is a summer pastime: picnic tables covered with brown paper, silver buckets, buttered corn, french fries, cornbread and the unmistakable scent of seafood and Old Bay. It is a great appetizers food  to make for your family.  It’s that time of year, and my mind is already drifting to all those weathered crab shacks at the Eastern Shore, where you can look out over the bay and put your feet in the sand. Is it August yet?

Some people might be so daring, but I would not attempt an all-you-can-eat crab feast at home. (Live crabs, giant steamers…yikes!) I would, however, make crab cakes, which are just as delicious and super easy to prepare. And — added bonus — your children will probably like them. At least mine do, and that includes one finicky little 5-year-old.

The most important thing when you’re making crab cakes is to use fresh, good quality lump crab meat. I get mine at Whole Foods, which can be expensive, but one pound is enough to make six generous crab cakes, which feeds my family of four easily. Or, if you live in the DC area (and are willing to make the trek into the city), you can find great quality, inexpensive crab meat at the Maine Avenue fish market.

The other key to great crab cakes is to go light on the filler. These have just enough to bind the crab meat together and add great flavor.

I love them with the tartar sauce below, but you could also serve them with lemon wedges or cocktail sauce. As for accompaniments, think corn on the cob, french fries, coleslaw or any simply prepared green vegetable.

 

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