I’ve eaten crab cakes at Obrycki’s in Baltimore, Harris Crab House in Grasonville, Maryland, King Neptune’s in Gulf Shores, Alabama, The Wreck in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and dozens of other celebrated Southern crab houses, but the only ones that could touch Louis Osteen’s small wonders at his restaurant on Pawleys Island, South Carolina (made today with both crab and lobster) were the simple cakes served at
To make the mustard sauce, combine the butter, lemon juice, egg yolks, and black pepper in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk rapidly and constantly till the mixture thickens. Whisk in the water, remove pan from the heat, and let cool slightly. Add the mustard and whisk till the sauce is well blended and smooth. Keep warm.
To make the crab cakes, combine the mayonnaise, egg white, lemon juice, scallions, cracker crumbs, and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk till well blended. Add the crabmeat and toss very gently. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and gently shape each into a small but fairly thick patty. Spread the bread crumbs on a baking sheet and coat the patties lightly but securely. Chill the patties, covered, at least 1 hour.
When ready to serve, heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet, add the crab cakes, and sauté over moderate heat 3 minutes on each side or till golden brown. Serve each cake with about 1 tablespoon of the mustard sauce spooned over the top.
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