Crab: Fresh best. If packaged, buy jumbo lump or lump crabmeat. Get rid of fishy smell by soaking in milk for 20 minutes. Avoid canned as is pressure heated at high temperatures (220-250°) and meat is drier and chewier. Added citric acid makes meat mealy and spongy. Refrigerated crabmeat is processed at 182-190°, much juicier and pricier. Best: Phillips Premium Crab Jumbo or Blue Star Blue Swimming Crabmeat Lump Meat. If canned, try Miller’s Select Lump Crab Meat.
Binders: Sauteed celery, onion and Old Bay seasoning. Traditional binders are eggs and mayonnaise, but may mask the crab flavor. Try a meat glue made of pureed meat or fish and a little cream?
Cooking. Chill cakes for 30 minutes so less fragile.
Soak 1 lb lump crabmeat in 1 c milk in refrigerator for ½ hour.
Put ¾ c panko in ziplock and crush fine with rolling pin. Mix with ¾ c uncrushed panko and toast medium-high till golden brown, about 5 minutes. Season with ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Wipe out skillet.
Pulse 2 celery ribs ch, ½ c onion ch, and 1 garlic clove smashed 5-8 pulses in food processor and move to bowl. Melt 1 tbsp butter medium and sauté vetetables, ½ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper 4-6 minutes.
Drain crabmeat with pressure but do not break up lumps.
Line baking sheet with foil. Pulse 4 oz shrimp (peeled, deveined and tails removed) till finely ground. Add ¼ c heavy cream to combine. Transfer to bowl with vegetables. Add 2 tsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp hot sauce, ½ tsp Old Bay seasoning. Stir and add crabmeat. Fold gently to not overmix or break up crab lumps. Divide into 8 balls and firmly press into ½” thick patties. Refrigerate 30 minutes covered with plastic. Coat each with panko pressing firmly to adhere crumbs to exterior.
Saute 4 patties at once medium until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip, add more oil, reduce heat to medium low and cook 4-6 minutes loner. Repeat with other 4 patties.
Goes oven to table in 10 minutes with little prep.
Prevent Dryness. A juicy interior and thoroughly browned exterior are the goal. Use 500° heat, only jumbo shrimp, brine for 15 minutes, cook in-shell and cook on wire racks under broiler to prevent drying out.
How to Butterfly Shrimp. Starting at head snip throygh back of shell with itchen shears (or a very sharp paring knife_.. Cut from tail end toward head. Devein but do not remove shell. Using paring knife, continue to cut ½-inch deep slit in shrimp making sure to not cut through completely.
GARLICKY ROASTED SHRIMP
Dissolve ¼ c salt in 1 quart cold water.
Butterfly shrimps as above. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Adjust oven rack 4” from broiler. Combine 4 tbsp butter melted, ¼ c vegetable oil, 6 garlic cloves minced, 1 tsp anise seeds, ½ tsp red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp pepper in large bowl. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Add shrimp and 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley to butter mixture, toss well so butter gets into interiors of shrimp. Arrange shrimp in single layer on wire rack set in baking sheet.
Broil shrimp until opaque and shells are beginning to brown, 2-4 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling. Flip shrimp an continue broil until second side is opaque and shells beginning to brown, 2-4 minutes, rotating pan halfway. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
Garlicky Roast Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Omit butter and increase vegetable oil to ½ cup. Omit anise seeds and pepper. Add 2 tsp lightly crushed coriander seeds, 2 tsp lime zest and 1 tsp annatto powder (or achiote, in Latin American markets. An equal amount of paprika can be substituted. Substitute ¼ c minced fresh cilantro for parsley and lime wedges for lemon wedges.
Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Cumin, Ginger and Sesame
Omit butter and increase vegetable oil to ½ cup. Decrease garlic to 2 cloves and omit anise and pepper. Add 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 1½ tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp cumin seeds to oil mixture in step 2. Substitute 2 sliced scallions for parsley and omit lemon wedges.