The Mailbox: Reader recipe requests

By Teri Mena

Cheese steak like Philly?

I have been unable to find a Philly cheese steak sandwich in Sacramento that comes close to the ones made in Philadelphia, Pa. Any suggestions as to where the real thing can be found here will be greatly appreciated.

Steve Liddick, Sloughhouse



If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916) 321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Lily’s crab cakes with tartar sauce

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Serves 4

Martha Dupont of Folsom recently moved here from Florida. She has always enjoyed crab cakes and was looking for a good recipe.

Connie Lane of Penn Valley shares this recipe that she says is very, very good. Lane says this recipe won a blue ribbon at the Hard Crab Derby in Grisfield, Md.

Note: The prep time does not include the 30-minute chill time for the patties before they are cooked.


Crab cakes:

1 pound lump crabmeat (fresh is best)

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 slice French white bread, dried and crumbled

1/4 teaspoon dried lemon peel or 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon peel

1 egg

1 egg yolk

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons horseradish

2 teaspoons horseradish mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

5 drops Tabasco or other Louisiana hot pepper sauce

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

Tartar sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

1 tablespoon capers, mashed

1 clove garlic, minced, optional

1 1/2 teaspoons horseradish mustard

1/8 teaspoon grated lemon peel


For the crab cakes: Pick over crabmeat for shells and cartilage. Put the crabmeat in a large bowl and add the parsley, bread crumbs and lemon peel. Toss lightly. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, beat egg and the egg yolk, using a wire whisk.

Add the mayonnaise and beat until smooth. Add the horseradish, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and pepper and beat until smooth. Pour half the liquid over the crabmeat and toss lightly with a fork. Add the remaining liquid and toss lightly again. Gently pat the mix into patties (about 1/3 cup each). Chill for 30 minutes. In a wok or heavy skillet, heat 1/4-inch vegetable oil to 350 degrees. When the oil is ready, fry the cakes until golden brown on both sides, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Lily’s tartar sauce.

For the tartar sauce: In a small bowl, combine all tartar sauce ingredients and mix well.

Per serving: 472 cal.; 24 g pro.; 14 g carb.; 34 g fat (6 sat., 2 monounsat., 1 polyunsat., 25 other); 174 mg chol.; 874 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 67 percent calories from fat.