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Gone Fishing

May 12, 2014 - Norman Bentley
Vacation #1 - 2014

The "Chardonnay Queen" and I are headed to island paradise in Matlacha for a couple of weeks of fishing, so there will be no more wine articles until June. Meanwhile while we are in Matlacha we will be eating among other seafood delights, some "Matlacha Crab Cakes", a recipe from my wife, the "Georgia Recipe Manager" who is also known as the "Chardonnay Queen"


from..."Miss Mary's Kitchen"

By: Mary Bentley

Georgia Recipe Manager

Matlacha Crab Cakes

A number of years ago my parents came to visit us. For dinner that night, we decided to have crab cakes, a well-known favorite of Daddy’s. After Norm and I collaborated to come up with a recipe that was more crab than breadcrumbs, he and Daddy were sent off in search of lump crabmeat. That “quick trip” turned out to be a multi-store visit but they proudly arrived back with enough to serve all. Despite the delayed preparation for this feast, the wait was well worth it!

During dinner the conversation turned to “picking” crab meat, and the work involved with the process. Daddy’s father had retired to an island near Ft. Myers , FL about 60 years ago, and there was always an abundance of seafood available in the area. One of our favorite restaurants on the island was once the home of the Matlacha Crab Co., where people worked each day to “pick” crab meat. If any of you have ever attempted to remove the meat from the shell of this small crustacean, you understand the effort.

We serve these delectable Crab Cakes with mashed potatoes, cole slaw and lots of tartar sauce. Our version of tartar sauce is quite simple – mayonnaise, dill pickle relish and fresh lemon juice – and is a great basic accompaniment to most any seafood. Be sure to serve the seafood with fresh lemon wedges to brighten up the taste.


1 lb. lump crabmeat, drained (I often use half claw meat for sweetness)

1 T. each yellow and red bell pepper, finely minced

1 t. dry mustard

2 T. onion, finely minced

1 T. chives

1 egg, beaten

1 c. soft breadcrumbs

milk salt and paprika (to taste)

all purpose flour


Saute onion to soften in a small skillet using butter; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, carefully pick over crabmeat to remove particles of shell. Try not to break up the crab while doing this. Fold all other ingredients in except milk, flour, oil and butter. If too dry, add milk to help mixture bind together. Place a 10" non-stick skillet on the stove over medium heat; add oil and butter to cover the bottom ¼ inch deep. Put flour in a pie plate for dredging. Shape approximately ¼ cup of the mixture into a patty, gently roll in flour to completely cover. Place 4 to 6 patties in the skillet. Do not crowd or you will not have a crispy crust on the cakes. Sauté over medium to medium high to brown first side, turn, sauté on other side. Reduce heat, cook 5 minutes, turning once. Remove to absorbent paper, drain briefly before serving.


GOOD FOOD..."Good for the Soul"

From Miss Mary's Kitchen Recipes available at her blogsite -

also available on line at:

Mary’s recipes also available at:


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