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Crab cakes are family favorite

September 19, 2009

This crab cake recipe was passed down from my great-grandmother to my grandmother, then to my mother and then to me. I can still remember my great-grandmother picking through the crabmeat removing shells and mixing this recipe together by hand. Her secret was using fresh jumbo lump crabmeat and Miracle Whip, and pan frying in an iron skillet using fresh Crisco vegetable shortening.

I never knew the family recipe until my mother, who is a wonderful cook and excellent teacher, handed me the famous recipe card in order to write down the ingredients and cooking procedures.

Momma's famous crab cakes



1 pound lump crabmeat, cleaned

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1 egg

2 tablespoons Miracle Whip

5 saltine crackers, crushed

Dash of pepper

1/4 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced, to taste

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Crisco shortening (see cook's note)

Gently fold together all ingredients by hand without breaking apart the crabmeat lumps. Press into 6 crab cakes, put onto a plate and chill in the fridge.

Heat iron skillet and add Crisco to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Increase heat to 375 degrees and gently place crab cakes into hot oil. When they turn crispy brown flip gently and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until browned.

You can also bake or grill these crab cakes. Be sure to spray the pan or grill with cooking spray or use a nonstick skillet.

Cook's note: Liquid shortening or grape seed oil can be substituted, but the unique flavor profile of Crisco will be lost.

Makes 6 crab cakes

- Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services.

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