“Crabcakes and football! That’s what Maryland does.” As a former Baltimore resident myself, I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard this line in the great comedy, Wedding Crashers. I don’t know if I agree with the football part, but Marylanders definitely take great pride in their crab cakes, and rightfully so. After two years of living in Maryland, David and I remain quite biased in favor of the Commonwealth of Virginia since that’s where we were born and raised. We even tend to be a bit tough on the state of Maryland. We do have fond memories of our first two years of marriage in Baltimore, our friends, students, favorite local spots (Nacho’s Mama’s!), and of course, crab cakes.
You probably don’t know this, but the 2006 Miss USA Pageant was actually filmed in Baltimore. (Isn’t that exciting?) I think David and I might have been the only people to watch the pageant at all, let alone it’s entirety. Seeing the host, Carson Kressley (remember, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?) prancing around Baltimore, enthusiastically shouting about all of the beautiful sights and tourist attractions was mind numbing, yet we couldn’t stop watching. (Who knew Baltimore had so many things to see?) While I might not be moving back to Baltimore in the near future, to quote the 2006 Miss USA Pageant Host, Carson’s comment to co-host, Nancy O’Dell of Access Hollywood, “We’ll Always Have Baltimore.” Yes, we’ll always have Baltimore.
Last week, Jen (a Baltimore native and avid fan of The Wire), invited David and me over for homemade crab cakes, using fresh Chesapeake Bay crab meat sent by her mom. Since restaurant-made crab cakes contain breadcrumbs as the binder for the crab meat, I was so excited about the rare opportunity to enjoy a gluten-free crab cake, triggering Baltimore and Eastern Shore nostalgia. Jen’s family recipe calls for Saltines but she used Glutino crackers instead. Absolutely delicious. Even the gluten eaters didn’t notice a difference. I love the use of Old Bay in this recipe. It just wouldn’t be right to not include this great seasoning spice in a Maryland crab recipe.
The Lalley’s Maryland Crab Cakes:
Pick out any pieces of shell in crab cakes. (It wouldn’t be authentic if there wasn’t a little bit of shell. Mix all of ingredients together and mold into crab cakes.
Sautee cakes in butter on medium heat until slightly browned on both sides. You could alternatively broil them. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
We enjoyed our crab cakes with asparagus and a delicious salad made by Maury, the salad expert. Such a great spring meal! We’ll always have Baltimore…