Dungeness Crab Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce

It’s Dungeness crab season — and with crab as low as $4.49/lb. it’s hard not to want to make these every night.  I learned a trick from Mark last Christmas when we made these at Mary’s.  I was carefully patting the mixture into what I thought was even little servings, and Mark was packing the same mixture into a 1/3 cup measuring cup, and popping out these perfect little hockey pucks that DID NOT fall apart when they were being sauteed.  PERFETTO!
1 lb. jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh
1 large egg
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
a tiny pinch of cayenne, to taste
kosher salt
1-1/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs (I use the inside of a sweet French bread like a batard)
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Drain the crabmeat, if necessary, and pick through it for shells ( jumbo lump will not have  shells). Put the crab in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay seasoning, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Scrape the mixture over the crab and mix gently until well combined. Gently break up the lumps with your fingers but do not overmix.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and the parsley over the mixture, and mix them in thoroughly but gently; try not to turn the mixture into a mash—it should still be somewhat loose. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

Shape the crab mixture into 8 cakes about 1 inch thick. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, add the cakes to the pan (8 should fit comfortably). Cook until dark golden brown on the underside, about 4 minutes. Flip the cakes, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue cooking until the other side is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the cakes or better yet, the lemon dill sauce below.

Lemon Dill Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

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