Cooking 101

Saltines are the secret ingredient in these tasty crabcakes

Jeremy Young uses saltine crackers in his Baltimore crabcakes, which he serves with remoulade sauce and sauted summer squash and tomatoes.
Jeremy Young uses saltine crackers in his Baltimore crabcakes, which he serves with remoulade sauce and sauted summer squash and tomatoes. Johnson County Community College

Crabcakes are a quick, tasty treat any time of the year.

Jeremy Young likes to use saltine crackers in his recipe instead of the traditional breadcrumbs.

“I think the crackers add a lot of good flavors,” says Young, a student apprentice in the culinary program at Johnson County Community College.

Lump crabmeat is available at any grocery, he said, and it comes shredded without shell. Once in a great while, you might run into a small shell, he said, so you might check for that before you start.

Young’s father used to be a cook at a pizza place in Lenexa, and Young liked to watch him in the kitchen. One of the first recipes the two made together was Baltimore crabcakes.

They got the whole family involved in making it, Young said, “so whenever I make it it brings back so many memories.”

About the chef: Jeremy Young, 19, is a fourth-semester student in the JCCC apprenticeship program. He is working under chef Colby Garrelts at Rye KC in Mission Farms, Leawood. He hopes to eventually own his own restaurant or food truck with upscale American food at an affordable price.

About the stylist: Kaarin Nelson is a fourth semester interior design student at Johnson County Community College. She styled the photo.

About the column: Cooking 101 is a column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College's Hospitality Management Program.

Baltimore Crabcakes and Remoulade With Summer Squash and Tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

Crabcakes:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 egg

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat

20 saltine crackers, finely crushed

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Remoulade sauce:

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1 medium dill pickle, small diced

2 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Summer squash and tomatoes:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound yellow or green squash, julienned

1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges

3/4 cup minced shallot

1/4 cup minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Lemon wedges, for serving

To prepare the crabcakes: In a bowl, whisk mayonnaise, egg, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt and pepper until smooth.

In a medium bowl lightly toss the crabmeat with the cracker crumbs. Gently fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Scoop mixture into 8 even patties, about 1  1/2 inches thick. Dust outside with flour.

In a large skillet heat oil until hot. Add crabcakes and cook over medium heat until bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

To prepare the remoulade sauce: Whisk mayonnaise, dill pickle, parsley, lemon juice, Wocestershire, hot sauce and salt and pepper in a bowl.

To prepare the summer squash and tomatoes: Heat oil until hot. Toss in squash and sauté until you get some color on the sides. Toss in tomatoes, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté about 2 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst open. Serve immediately alongside crabcakes and lemon wedges.

Per serving: 1,284 calories (82 percent from fat), 122 grams total fat (17 grams saturated), 180 milligrams cholesterol, 33 grams carbohydrates, 28 grams protein, 2,122 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

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