This 31-unit Boston-based seafood chain got its name from “Legal Cash Market,” the grocery store that founder George Berkowitz’s father, Harry, opened in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1904. In 1950 George opened a fish market next door to his dad’s store and called it “Legal Sea Foods,” and eighteen years later it expanded into a thriving restaurant business. In 1986 NBC’s Today named Legal Sea Foods “The Best Seafood Restaurant in America.” One of the signature dishes at the chain is Legal’s Signature Crab Cakes, which are filled with big chunks of lump crab and served with a top secret mustard dipping sauce. These delicious baked crab cakes are simple to prepare, as is the sauce, both of which I have hacked here for the first time.

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons bottled prepared horseradish
¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
5 saltine crackers, crumbled
1 pound jumbo lump crab
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cooking method

1-Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Make the mustard sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

3-Make the crab cakes by whisking together the mayonnaise, egg, Old Bay, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Stir in the crackers (which have been crumbled in a small bag with a mallet or rolling pin). Gently fold in the crab, being careful not to break up the chunks.

4-Measure ½-cup portions of the crab onto a nonstick baking pan or a pan lined with a nonstick pad. Form the crab into cakes and then brush each cake with melted butter.

5-Bake the crab cakes for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are beginning to brown on top. Serve with the mustard sauce on the side or use a squeeze bottle to add a drizzle of the sauce on the plate before adding the crab cakes.

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