Update: This full recipe has recently been posted here.
There are some recipes that aren’t meant to be shared.
This is one of them.
Crab cakes are a tradition in my family. They represent many different occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, days that end in Y, visits home, visits home from best friends, introductions of new boyfriends, celebrations of new jobs, celebrations of quitting crappy jobs…
The list goes on and on. Crab cakes are a comfort food at Koupela Drive and a family tradition that will–without a doublt–be passed down through future generations. Growing up, the crab cakes would simply just appear on our plates next to a bright green stack of asparagus. At one point or another–maybe sometime after my Bat Mitzvah?–a rite of passage took place. It was late in the afternoon and my dad called my sister and I into the kitchen. I thought we were just eating early, but in reality–the crabs were nowhere near being cakes. It was our time to inherit the steps of this infamous recipe. Part of me was afraid to learn the secrets behind this process.
It almost felt like finding out that the vacuum cleaner didn’t work through magic.
Sarah willingly accepted this invitation as her main goal was to find fallen bell peppers and pieces of crab that hadn’t made it into the mix. I knew I had no other choice. I rolled up the sleeves of my pajamas, washed my hands, went straight for the dill, and never looked back.
Most restaurants brag that their crab cakes have “all crab and no fillers.” I, for one, don’t like JUST crab in my crab cakes. It seems a little boring to me. One secret to my dad’s crab cakes is nice big jumbo lump pieces of crab combined with celery, peppers, and leeks. The herbs and veggies give the cake texture and a nice balance of flavor.
Another crab cake secret I’ll let you in on: these are CRAB cakes–not crab and mayonnaise cakes. Mayo is meant to be used here as a binder and a way to add some creaminess. You’re not making crab salad.
No offense, Hellman’s.
Plus it’s more fun if they’re a little fall-apart-ey.
**Fact: fall-apart-ey is actually
not a word**
As you can see from these pictures, the tradition lived on last weekend as dad and I drank wine, zested lemons, and made a mess of panko breadcrumbs on the floor. All of my stresses and troubles drifted away and I stood over a bowl of reds, greens, and yellows and got lost in the smell of sizzling oil.
There’s no place like crab cakes, there’s no place like crab cakes…