Crab cakes for a crowd are not hard to make and are always so much appreciated. I say “not hard” because they can be prepared in advance and refrigerated until needed. Most recipes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to eight hours. If you have commercial cooking equipment, they are a “breeze” to cook. If that is not the case you can cook them in several large skillets of a large griddle. Some recipes even instruct cooking in the oven. Even the stove top recipes can be baked in the oven on oiled trays.
The origination of crab cakes has been traced back to the original thirteen colonies here in the Northeast United States. Originally this was a very humble fisherman’s recipe. Making crab cakes was a way of using up the excess crab which was caught. Most of the time it was small bits and pieces which people did not want. When food was of short supply, the settlers could usually get some of this “cheap” food from the fishermen along the coast.
Most people love crab cakes so your guests will love having them served at your gathering. When I cook crab cakes for a crowd, I have found that everyone loves them. It seems like most do not cook them at home so they are happy when I serve them. If you are located near the coast, crab is usually more economical to purchase. If the expense is a problem, I have tried (And many others told me) that they use the imitation crab.
I never thought I would ever use imitation anything especially when cooking crab cakes for a crowd. Because of other comments, I thought I would try it. Honestly, it is a great alternative. Another great alternative is to mix crab with other seafood or fish like mild cod. Your guests may not even know if you do not tell them. That is if they are not a “crab connoisseur”!
How to make crab cakes
Combine all ingredients except the cracker crumbs; mix lightly and refrigerate.
Shape into 25 to 30 patties and pat cracker crumbs into both sides.
Cook in oil on hot griddle until brown on both sides.
Serve with tartar sauce.
Crab cakes to serve as appetizers with watercress sauce; makes 36.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat; sauté celery and onion for 10 minutes.
Combine bread CUBES and milk in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.
Drain bread; stir in celery mixture, crabmeat and next 5 ingredients.
Shape into balls using 2 tablespoons of the mixture.
Roll into DRY bread crumbs; cover and chill.
NOTE: To make shaping easier, I chop in the food processor for a couple seconds. (Pressing down on buttom 4 to 5 times.) The mixture becomes smoother for shaping the balls.
NOTE: These can be made ahead and refrigerated up to 8 hours.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees.
Place on a lightly greased baking sheet; flatten slightly.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown; serve with watercress sauce.
Makes 50 to 54 appetizers.
COMBINE ALL ingredients; cover and chill.
Sautee red bell pepper and onion in the 4 teaspoons cooking oil until soft.
In a large bowl or pan combine the mayonnaise, eggs, mustard, lemon juice and Old Bay seasoning; whisk together until well blended.
Stir in the pepper and onion mixture and the crab.
Stir in 2 cups of the bread crumbs to make a dry mixture.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Form round walnut size balls and roll each into bread crumbs; chill for several hours or overnight.
Heat oil to 375F degrees and deep fry several balls at a time.
(North Carolina’s Cape Fear Style with lemon dill sauce)
(Makes 24 two inch patties)
FOR LEMON DILL SAUCE combine first 7 ingredients; blend well, cover and chill.
FOR CRABCAKES spoon 3 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium high.
Add green onions, 2 cloves garlic and sweet red pepper.
Cook until vegetables are tender crisp; stir occasionally.
Stir in ground pepper, whipping cream and mustard; cool slightly.
Combine vegetables mixture, eggs, basil, parsley and 1 CUP breadcrumbs.
Stir in crabmeat and shape into 24 two inch patties; place on trays.
Cover patties and chill at least 1 hour.
Combine remaining 1 CUP breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Dredge patties in crumb cheese mixture.
Heat oil and remaining butter in several large skillets over medium.
Cook crab cakes about 3 minutes on each side.
Remove from heat and serve with lemon dill sauce.
(Open face on English muffins-serves 12)
Preheat oven broiler.
Combine crabmeat, mayonnaise, cream cheese, egg yolks, onion and seasonings.
Blend mixture well.
Split muffins and toast; spread butter on each half.
Top each half with crab meat mixture.
Broil about 5 to 6 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Combine crabmeat, bread crumbs, eggs, onion and green pepper.
Add the, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and salt; blend well.
Shape mixture into 48 two inch patties; chill to firm up patties.
Dredge patties in flour; fry in hot oil until brown turning once.
Drain and serve with hot sauce; 2 patties per serving for 24 servings.
Cod and Crab Cakes
FOR PUREE preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Combine all the puree ingredients in large stainless steel roasting pan.
Cover tightly with foil; bake 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Transfer vegetables and any juices to food processor. (Keep oven on).
Process to a smooth paste.
FOR CAKES season cod fillets with salt and pepper.
Arrange fillets on lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes or until it flakes; cool.
Flake cod into a large bowl; add the crab meat.
Add the FRESH bread crumbs and next 5 ingredients to the bowl.
Add ½ CUP of the parsley, salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
On a plate mix the dry bread crumbs with the remaining ¼ CUP of parsley.
Divide cod-crab mixture into 48 equal parts; shape into 1 inch thick cakes.
Coat cakes with dry crumb mixture; place on trays, cover and refrigerate.
READY TO COOK heat several large skillet or griddle; spread with a little oil.
Cook over moderate high heat until golden on both sides (2 to 3 minutes per side).
Transfer to large tray and keep warm.
REHEAT PUREED SAUCE and serve with cod crab cakes.
Makes 48 cakes/ 24 servings.
Make these great crab cakes with jalapeno tartar sauce. (Make sauce first and refrigerate)
Jalapeno Tartar Sauce
MIX TOGETHER all ingredients; cover and chill.
NOTE: English cucumbers are long and slender with a tender peel which you can eat.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a very large bowl.
Fold in bread crumbs and crab meat; divide mixture into 48 parts.
Shape each part into a patty.
Coat large skillets or griddles with vegetable oil; place on medium high heat.
Brown patties on both sides until golden brown (3 to 4 minutes per side).
Serve with Jalapeno tartar sauce; makes 48 Patties OR 24 servings.
COMBINE ALL ingredients, cover and chill; makes about 6 cups.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Combine eggs and next 7 ingredients in large bowl; mix in the crabmeat.
Shape mixture into 24 (3 inch) patties; place on lightly greased baking trays.
FOR TOPPING combine mayonnaise and Old Bay seasoning.
Spread evenly over the crab cakes; sprinkle with paprika.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown; (Do not over bake).
Serve with tartar sauce; 24 servings.
Combine crab, onion and half of the bread crumbs in large bowl; set aside.
In another bowl beat the eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and mustard.
Pour egg mixture over the crab mixture and mix; shape into 12 cakes.
Dredge cakes in the remaining HALF of bread crumbs.
Heat oil in several large skillets over medium high; fry cakes turning 1 time.
NOTE: Cook about 5minutes on each side.
Drain crab cakes on paper towels; serve with tartar sauce.