" Basic Instinct" Sharon Stone-Crab Cakes

There's nothing "basic" about this sophisticated treat. Grab a bite, but be sure to watch your back.

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts trimmed, chopped fine
  • 1-1/2 pounds stone or lump crabmeat
  • 1 cup crushed saltine cracker crumbs

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs of choice, dill, cilantro, basil, etc.
  • 1 ice pick (used for good and not evil)


1. Heat one tablespoon peanut oil over moderately high heat and saute bell peppers and jalapeno until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. After peppers have cooled, combine them with the egg, mayonnaise, dry mustard, Old Bay, scallions and chopped bread. Stir until well blended and carefully mix in the crabmeat without breaking apart. Cover and chill at least 20 minutes.

3. Depending on the size desired, divide crab mixture into either four or eight equal portions and pat each into a plump disk.

4. Spread crushed saltines out in a pie dish and press the crab patties gently into the crumbs, coating all sides evenly. Carefully place on a cookie sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours.

5. Combine sauce ingredients and refrigerate.

6.Heat one tablespoon peanut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking, and saute crab cakes until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Gently turn crab cakes and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to heated plates and eat immediately or place carefully on a baking sheet and keep warm in a 325 F oven.

7.Follow your most basic instinct and eat as many as possible.

Makes 4 large or 8 small crab cakes

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