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Crab Cakes - Fritters
I’m sure you know what crab cakes are, and if you’re familiar with the U.S. South, you’ve probably munched down on some fritters. But what about crab fritters – have you ever tried them? Oh, they’re super yummy! The outside edges are crispy and crunchy, and the inside is light and fluffy. The best way I can describe crab fritters is like they’re sort of a combination of crab cakes, deviled crab, and hushpuppies. The crab fritters I made today have several of the same ingredients I use in my deviled crab and crab cake recipes, including onion, red and green bell pepper, egg, and cayenne, along with freshly picked or refrigerated crab meat. One big difference is the breading. With crab cakes, I use as little breading as possible – just enough to hold the crabmeat together. Oftentimes, I use crushed crackers, although I’ve also used bread crumbs and panko in my crab cakes and in my deviled crabs. For my fritters, I use a combination of flour and cornmeal. Another difference is the cooking method. For crab cakes, I use just a little butter or oil, but with the crab fritters, I deep fry.
Catching Blue Crabs:
I’m sort of a crab aficionado, and I’m particularly fond of blue crabs. Whenever we visit the Atlantic beaches of Georgia, or the Atlantic and Gulf beaches of Florida, we spend a considerable amount of time crabbing. I find it fun and relaxing, and the grandkids love it. Of course, the results are very rewarding, too. There’s nothing like eating crab meat that just came out of the water, especially when it’s free. We catch both blue crabs and stone crabs. With the stone crabs, only the claws are eaten. With blue crabs, the meat can be picked from the claws and from the body, but it’s not a quick or easy job.
Blue crab is the tastiest of all crab varieties. And that’s not just my opinion – most professional chefs agree. As I said, however, picking all the little pieces of meat from a blue crab requires a lot of patience. Also, it’s often difficult to get enough for crab meat recipes because you’ll find yourself eating the crab meat as quickly as you’re picking it. I’ve done it before, but it required a real will of steel on my part. Most of the time, when I want to make crab recipes, I purchase ready-to-cook crab meat. The only problem here is that it’s pretty expensive. The good thing is that blue crab is so rich that a little goes a long way. So, if you look at it that way, it's really not a bad value.
Just recently, I received some free blue crab from Jack’s Catch, a seafood company. They’d read some of my seafood recipes and were kind enough to send me a care package. Included in the package was jumbo lump crab meat, along with some claw meat. I was especially excited when I discovered that the meat was blue crab! In return for the goodies, I was asked to create a couple of crab recipes for Jack’s website, which I was only too happy to do. For them, I created a recipe for deviled crab casserole and a recipe for crab and mushroom crepes. While I was in crab recipes mode, I decided to make two crab meat recipes for myself, to add to my collection of recipes on Hubpages. I made a crab casserole with cheese, which you can see by clicking the link. I also came up with a crab fritters recipe, which I’m sharing with you here.
For this crab recipe, I used blue crab meat from the claws. I think jumbo lump crab meat would be awesome in this recipe, but I had already used my free lump crabmeat for the crepes. If you decide to use jumbo lump crab meat in your crab fritters, handle it carefully, especially when you’re combining it with the batter. You don’t want to break up the big clumps of meat, as that sort of makes using the jumbo lumps rather pointless.
These crab fritters are really good! Don’t use canned crab meat that you find on the shelves in supermarkets. Use crabmeat that you picked yourself, or use refrigerated crab meat. I use blue crab in my crab cakes and in my fritters, but you might want to try using a different type of crab. If you’re using canned, refrigerated blue crab, you’ll probably need to drain off the liquid first. I had a nice surprise with Jack’s Catch blue crab – there was no liquid to drain!
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- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Lawry's garlic salt with parsley
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or more)
- 1/4 cup diced or chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons diced or chopped green bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons diced or chopped red bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups blue crab meat ( I used claw meat from Jack's Catch)
- peanut oil
- Heat three inches peanut oil in a deep pot, over medium-high heat. Bring to 365 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, meal, buttermilk, egg, sugar, and dry spices.
- Stir in onion and bell peppers.
- Gently stir in crab meat.
- Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into hot oil, without crowding. When bottoms brown, flip fritters over to brown other side.
- Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on racks or paper towels. Serve crab fritters with tartar sauce, mustard sauce, remoulade, or cocktail sauce. Whatever you eat with your crab cakes, you can eat with crab fritters.