Recipe: Maryland Crab Cakes

The Chesapeake Bay classic takes on an earthy component in this veggie-rich interpretation.

The Chesapeake Bay classic crab cake takes on an earthy component in this veggie-rich interpretation from Chef Mark Salter of the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Maryland.

For the crab cakes:
1 pound Maryland jumbo lump crab
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
3⁄4 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice from half lemon
2 ounces Panko Japanese bread crumbs
Olive oil

For the vegetables:
2 medium-size zucchini
2 medium-size yellow squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 large plum tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
Citrus beurre blanc sauce
11⁄2 cups white wine
3 shallots, diced
1⁄2 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
3 tablespoons heavy cream
10 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

For the garnish:
2 ounces toasted pine nuts
2 ounces cleaned arugula
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Make the crab cakes: In a large mixing bowl, mix the mayonnaise, egg, Old Bay seasoning, Dijon mustard, chopped parsley, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Pick over the crab meat carefully to remove shell traces, and then fold into the mixture. Add the breadcrumbs. Chill mixture for 20 minutes before shaping into 5-ounce cakes. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables: Trim the zucchini and squash and cut into matchstick-sized batons. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, then pour in the olive oil. Add the batons of zucchini and squash and sauté for 1– 2 minutes. Add the diced shallot and chopped garlic, followed by the diced tomato and chopped tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the beurre blanc sauce: In a saucepan, bring to a boil the white wine, shallots, fresh thyme and bay leaf and cook until reduced to 3
tablespoons. Add the heavy cream and bring back to the boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the cubed unsalted butter, whisking constantly after each addition. Finish the sauce with fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Assemble the dish: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Sauté the crab cakes in olive oil until lightly browned on each side. Bake cakes in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place the vegetables in center of plate, arrange crab cake on top and spoon sauce around. Sprinkle some toasted pine nuts on top and garnish with cleaned arugula that has been tossed with olive oil and kosher salt. Serves 4.

Wine Recommendation: Pair it with the Black Ankle Vineyards Bedlam, a riotous white blend from Maryland’s new star winery. Made of Viognier, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, Albariño and Muscat, the Bedlam, like Salter’s cuisine, takes accents from around the world and melds them into a uniquely Chesapeake flavor. In a pinch, you could substitute a California white blend, such as Conundrum or Big House White.

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