Deviled crabs in the Low country are often called simply deb’l. Crab recipes in the South invariably call for commercially prepared “crab boils. Although I’ve included a formula for a homemade crab boil (see book for recipe), in fact I usually improvise, depending on the serendipity of the moment, the projected use of the crab meat, and the bounty of both my herb garden and my spice rack.
- 1 3/4 pounds crab meat
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups clam juice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
- In a mixing bowl, place the crab meat, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Mix thoroughly.
- Shape the crab mixture into cakes and roll in bread crumbs.
- In a medium skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Saute the cakes about 5 minutes. Turn, then cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- For the sauce: In a 1.5 quart saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. slowly add the flour to the oil, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Slowly add the clam juice, whisking constantly and vigorously. Pour in white wine, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Then add cream, parsley, and basil. Simmer, but do not boil. Mixture is done when thick enough to evenly coat the back of a spoon.
- Serve the sauce over the crab cakes.