How to Make Baltimore Crab Cakes, Part 1

Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to the Chesapeake Bay with a demonstration of a classic recipe for crab cakes, prepared by Chef Bruce Mattel of the Culinary Institute of America.

Released on 11/11/2008

Credits

Starring: Bruce Mattel and Tanya Steel

Transcript

00:00
(light funky music)
00:05
(elegant orchestral music)
00:11
Hi, I'm Tanya Steel from Epicurious.com,
00:13
and you're watching Around the World in 80 Dishes.
00:16
Today I'm here with my friend Chef Bruce Mattel
00:19
from The Culinary Institute of America,
00:20
and we are making Mid-Atlantic crab cakes.
00:24
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. (tapping)
00:26
I am so excited to learn how to make them.
00:28
Because I've always had them in restaurants,
00:30
but it's not something I've really made at home.
00:31
Right, and I think that's the case for alotta people.
00:34
They're made, traditionally, from the blue crab
00:37
that's found in the Chesapeake region.
00:40
And if you wanted to do these from complete scratch,
00:44
you'd have to cook blue crabs and pick out
00:46
all the meat, and it's really,
00:47
really, really labor intensive.
00:49
[Tanya] Yeah.
00:50
So what most people do
00:50
is they purchase pre-cooked picked crab meat.
00:54
And what we're gonna do is we're gonna make
00:55
a base for these crab cakes first.
00:57
So we're gonna take some of these products,
01:00
egg, and parsley, and lemon juice,
01:01
and sour cream, and whisk it together.
01:03
Then we'll fold in the crab meat
01:06
and some breadcrumbs to give it a little more binding.
01:10
And then we'll be able to shape 'em and cook 'em up!
01:12
Alright, great!
01:13
So take the beaten eggs there.
01:15
Okay.
01:17
And dump those in.
01:18
[Tanya] And those are whole eggs?
01:19
Those are whole eggs.
01:20
Okay.
01:21
We have some melted butter, some sour cream,
01:25
(humming)
01:27
(splash)
01:28
(clattering)
01:29
parsley, fresh chopped parsley.
01:31
[Tanya] Nice.
01:32
And I like to leave it just a little,
01:34
I don't like to cut it too fine.
01:35
If the herbs are chopped really, really fine,
01:38
basically just swallow them, unless they have
01:41
a chance to really infuse into the dish.
01:43
(humming)
01:44
We have some salt that went in,
01:45
a little bit a cayenne pepper.
01:46
[Tanya] Okay,
01:47
(scraping)
01:49
to give it a little bit of spice.
01:50
[Bruce] A little bit a paprika.
01:50
[Tanya] Yup.
01:53
Some Worcestershire sauce,
01:54
(humming)
01:55
and a little bit a lemon juice
01:56
for balance and a bit of acidity.
01:57
Oh, oh okay.
01:59
Now, what you wanna do is whisk that all together.
02:01
Yup.
02:02
[Bruce] And make it nice and smooth.
02:05
Well, you worked out all the lumps, right.
02:07
[Tanya] Yeah, yeah.
02:07
[Bruce] And that's what we're lookin' to do.
02:08
And I worked out my arm,
02:09
so it's a two curve situation right here.
02:11
Good job!
02:12
Yeah, okay.
02:13
(scraping)
02:14
Okay, so now what we're gonna do,
02:15
we're gonna lose the whisk.
02:16
Okay.
02:17
[Bruce] We're gonna switch over
02:18
to a rubber spatula. (humming)
02:19
And the reason for that is as we add our crab meat,
02:22
we don't really wanna break that crab meat up too much.
02:24
[Tanya] Alright. (clanking)
02:26
So we're gonna also add the breadcrumbs right now
02:28
so that we don't have to do this
02:29
in too many stages and overwork the mixture.
02:33
So what's gonna happen now is the breadcrumbs,
02:36
as you work that and mix that in,
02:37
(humming) the breadcrumbs
02:38
will start absorbing some of the excess liquid in there.
02:41
[Tanya] Okay.
02:42
And we have a half sheet pan here,
02:43
(humming)
02:44
and I have a couple of ways
02:46
to shape these that I'm gonna show you.
02:48
Okay.
02:49
(clanking)
02:50
What we wanna do first is take a little bit a cornmeal--
02:53
Just regular cornmeal?
02:54
Regular coarse-ground cornmeal.
02:55
Uh huh.
02:56
And we're gonna sprinkle this on this platter.
02:59
Alright.
03:00
(clanking)
03:01
And then we're gonna shape these up.
03:02
Now, you could do this in a variety a ways.
03:05
You could just simply
03:06
(shuffling)
03:09
take about, I'd say, a half cup's worth with your hands
03:12
and kinda just shape it like that.
03:16
And that way, anybody could do that, right.
03:17
[Tanya] Yeah.
03:18
[Bruce] And quite frankly, when they're shaped like this,
03:20
a little more rustic, (humming)
03:21
I actually think they look really nice.
03:23
[Tanya] They do!
03:24
[Bruce] I know, I don't need them to be so perfect.
03:26
[Tanya] That's right!
03:27
[Bruce] But sometimes in a restaurant
03:29
we want it to be a little more uniform in shape.
03:33
Right.
03:33
So in a restaurant, or at CIA, this is what you guys use.
03:36
We can use somethin' like that.
03:37
Okay.
03:38
So what we could do here is we could just place
03:39
the ring mold on the pan, and we could take
03:42
about that same amount, and we could press it right in.
03:46
[Tanya] I see.
03:48
Or what somebody could do is also take a little cup--
03:50
Oh, okay.
03:51
In order to get a little more
03:52
of a accurate measure and consistency.
03:54
Uh huh, uh huh.
03:55
And then I'll shake it out.
03:56
Oh, that's so smart! (clattering)
03:57
Okay.
03:58
And I'll form it a little bit more.
03:59
Uh huh.
04:00
And then I'll place that on the pan.
04:01
Oh, okay.
04:03
Now, do these need to set?
04:04
(clattering)
04:05
Do they need to go into a refrigerator
04:07
and set before you cook 'em? They do.
04:08
What we're gonna do, we're gonna put
04:09
a little more cornmeal on top now.
04:10
[Tanya] Okay.
04:11
[Bruce] And we're gonna put 'em in the refrigerator
04:12
for approximately an hour to chill.
04:14
And during that hour, the bread crumbs
04:16
will continue to absorb some of the liquid,
04:18
and they'll set up a little bit firmer,
04:20
and they'll be much easier to handle.
04:30
(light funky music)