New England is another region of the United States noted for its seafood, and these crab cakes offer a new twist to a traditional Yankee main course. The recipe calls for canned crab, but the packaged imitation crabmeat or crabmeat blend works just as well.
An egg, mayonnaise and cracker crumbs hold these cakes together. Crushed saltines or oyster crackers are fine for this recipe, but using butter-flavored snack crackers such as Ritz provides a rich flavor to the cakes that ordinary crackers do not.
What really brings out the flavor in this recipe is the addition of mustard to both the crab cakes and to the cheddar sauce. The end result is a tender crab cake with a flavor reminiscent of deviled crab. If added heat is desired, substitute a teaspoon of freshly grated horseradish to the cheddar sauce instead of mustard. Horseradish flavors shrimp cocktail very well; its earthy heat brings out the succulent sweetness of the shrimp. It functions similarly with the crab and compliments cheddar cheese as well.
2 c. cracker crumbs (set aside 1/2 cup)
1/2 c. shredded carrot
1/4 c. diced green pepper
1/4 c. diced onion
1 tbsp. butter
6 oz. canned crabmeat, drained, or 6 oz. packaged imitation crabmeat
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
dash ground black pepper
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. butter
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
To make crab cakes:
Place carrot, green pepper, onion and butter in microwave-safe bowl. Heat 1-2 minutes, covered, until butter is melted and vegetables are slightly soft.
In bowl of food processor, place crabmeat and egg. Pulse until egg and crabmeat are just combined. Add vegetables, mayonnaise, mustard, spices and cracker crumbs. Pulse until all ingredients are combined.
Shape contents of bowl into 4 patties, approximately 1" thick. Coat each patty with reserved cracker crumbs. Place on microwave-safe plate.
Heat in microwave 7 - 9 minutes or until cakes are firm.
To make cheddar sauce:
Place butter and flour in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter and flour form a paste. Stir in milk, and continue heating until milk simmers and begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Add grated cheese and spices. Stir until cheese is thoroughly melted.
To serve: place one crabcake on plate; spoon two or three tablespoons of cheddar sauce over cake.