Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes : A Recipe By Michael Schwartz

​This week we featured a two-part interview with chef and author Michael Schwartz, who's latest book, "Michael's Genuine Food", will hit stores this week. Check out the other parts here and here. Linda agreed to share a recipe from her new book with Clean Plate Charlie readers.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

(Serves 6 )

I know it's a bold statement, but this is the best damn crab cake you're ever gonna eat! Unlike most recipes, this one doesn't depend on bread crumbs or any other filler to hold the crab together. Sweet, succulent crab is mixed with not much more than butter and cream, which, when chilled, binds the crab cake together beautifully. When panfried, the outside gets crisp and brown while the butter melts inside, and what you bite into are warm lumps of luscious crab. When you want to pull out all the stops, this dish is impressive, elegant, and looks and tastes fantastic. The crab cake mixture is best if made ahead so it has sufficient time to chill and harden. For an hors d'oeuvre, form the crab mixture into mini cakes.


1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, drained well, patted dry, and picked over for shells

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter

1 small shallot, minced

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon dry mustard

Pinch of cayenne pepper

¹⁄³ cup heavy cream

2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 large egg 1

 cup panko bread crumbs

¼ cup vegetable oil

Put the crab in a mixing bowl and set aside. Combine the butter and shallot in a small pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the Old Bay, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, the mustard, and cayenne. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream. Pour the butter mixture over the crab. Add the scallions. Fold the ingredients together gently but thoroughly, taking care not to mash the crabmeat. The mixture will look almost runny; don't worry, it will firm up in the fridge. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour; overnight is even better. When ready to cook, use your hands to form the mixture into 6 crab cakes that are 1½ inches thick. They should be moist and just hold together. Put the crab cakes on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while setting up your breading station. This allows the flavors to blend and the crab cakes to set.

To create a breading station, put the flour in a pie plate and season with salt and pepper. Crack the egg into a shallow bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and beat with a fork until frothy. Put the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Put a large skillet over medium heat, add a couple tablespoons of the oil, and swirl the pan around to coat the bottom.

Working with 3 crab cakes at a time (keep the remaining cakes in the fridge), lightly dredge both sides of the cakes in the seasoned flour, dip into the beaten egg, and then coat completely with bread crumbs. Gently lay the cakes in the hot oil and brown for 3 to 4 minutes on each side (turning only once or they will break up). Drain on paper towels. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and repeat with the remaining 3 crab cakes.


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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times, covering the restaurant and bar scene in South Florida. She has been featured on Cooking Channel’s Eat Street and Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race. Doss won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature on what it’s like to wait tables. In a previous life, she appeared off-Broadway and shook many a cocktail as a bartender at venues in South Florida and New York City. When she’s not writing, you can find Doss running some marathon then celebrating at the nearest watering hole.
Contact: Laine Doss