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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Crab Cakes!

I'm normally a huge seafood lover, but lately I've gone off the deep end. I hope there's shellfish in the deep end! The other day we had moules, and then my mom served scallops one day for lunch and now I'm just hooked. LIKE A FISH

I could keep going on and on forever.

Summer time screams seafood to me, and the other day, that scream manifested itself into these bad boys:

I loved making these because I took advice from several sources and combined them, and they still turned out fabulously. It's nice to learn lessons in cooking while cooking, but those lessons lose a bit of potency when they're mingling with the sting of fucking something up. Unless you never look before crossing the street and get hit by a car. No matter the sting, that is one potent lesson.

Anyways. I hope you all look before crossing the street.

One tip I got from my mom who got it from some famous chef was to use different crab meats. Not just lump, and not just the big piles of "fancy" shredded crab meat either. I used a can comprised of 15% leg meat from Trader Joe's, a can of fancy white crab meat from Bumble Bee and my favorite, the Kroger brand lump crab meat. I think this is hands down they way to go, so if you find yourself with an opportunity to use more than one type, go for it, gibbon.

Panko Crusted Crab Cakes (derived from this recipe)
serves 4

3 tbsp mayo
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp Dijon
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
1 tbso fresh chopped dill
1lb crab meat (see above)
1/4 cup Panko, plus more for sprinkling
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup olive oil give or take
lemon wedges

First, drain the hell out of your crab. I use the tried and true method of pressing the can's lid hard against the meat while it's still in the can, but then after that I also pressed the crab hard into a sieve with a large wooden spoon.

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients and whisk until smooth. Next, add the parsley, scallions and dill. Whisk again until thoroughly mixed. Fold int he crabmeat and 1/4 cup of the panko crumbs.

Fold, huh. I'm not much of folding, especially when there's a huge mess of crab and a relatively tiny amount of wet ingredients into which it must be folded. So just mix that shit up nice and good. There. Now I'm Jilly-fied this recipe.

Mix it all together and, if you size it like the original recipe did, you will form it into 16 patties. I made 12. We're pigs. Whatever.

Here is where I dovetailed some other tips in with the advice of this recipe. While forming each patty, I placed the patty between my palms and squeeeeeezed the dickens out of it over the sink. Even though we did lots of draining and straining, there was still a whole lot of moisture to these puppies.

Place the formed patties on a parchment lined cookie sheet. When all patties are formed, take your Panko and liberally sprinkle over not just the patties but the cookie sheet as well. When the tops are adequately covered, carefully pick up each patty and sort of lightly pat the Panko crumbs with them. If that makes sense?

Now, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Have some vinho verde, you've earned it. Watch Wheel of Fortune, let your hair down.

In a large skillet (I used cast iron), melt a tbsp of the butter in 2 tbsp of the oil. I love this tip from the recipe I used: when the foam subsides, add four crab cakes and cook over moderate heat until golden crisp, about three minutes a side. When they're done, drain on paper towels and repeat the process, butter + oil + crab cakes, until all of them are finished.

I just love that note, when the foam subsides. What a wonderful visual aid to help gauge when it's best to add your cakes.

This was so delicious! I skipped a sauce because I ruined my saffron sauce (hey, don't add your saffron cream sauce to the skillet you cooked your crab cakes in because you will ruin your sauce and waste that saffron and that is an expensive lesson). Instead I just drizzled a wee bit of Tabasco on each cake and squeezed liberal amounts of lemon juice on them. SO delicous!!

1 comment:

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