Sunday, June 17, 2007

Crab Cakes (yum!)

Robert's parents gave us a pound of king crab meat when he was there on Saturday (and some almond pound cake!!) So I used Mark Bittman's crab cake recipe and they were GOOD. We had them plain for dinner Saturday night with some sauteed spinach and Molly's carrot salad, but what was really transcendent was this morning, when I cooked up the last of the crab cakes and topped them with lemon and soft poached eggs. If I hadn't been too lazy to make hollandaise it would have been the perfect Father's Day breakfast! We had it with my standard toasted oatmeal bread and a drink we invented to cover up the taste of cheap sparkling wine (I can't bring myself to even call it Champagne - it's $4.99 a bottle!)

Mango Champale Cocktail

1 cup of sparkling wine (could use sparkling water for a nonalcoholic version, but why bother?)
1/4 cup mango juice
1/8 cup peach schnapps

Crab Cakes
1 lb lump crabmeat (I just chopped up the big chunks from the crab legs - heresy!)
1/8 cup minced roasted or fresh red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced scallion
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade)
1 egg
2 tbs fresh bread crumbs, as needed (I needed a lot more - like 1/4 of a cup or more)
1 tbs dijon mustard

salt, pepper, old bay seasoning for flour dredging
2 tbs olive oil + 2 tbs butter for frying

Mix the crabmeat with the mustard, mayo, pepper, scallion, egg, and bread crumbs until it makes a wet but somewhat hold-together-able mixture. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes before adding oil and butter (heat until butter stops foaming.) Shape cakes and dredge in the seasoned flour (Bittman calls for curry powder in place of the Old Bay, but WHATEVER!) and place in pan; fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side, till golden brown. They will fall apart, so only flip them once, and be gentle about it!

(Here is Bittman's version if you want to see his wording, etc. I really like his recipes in this book - though I've had trouble with some of the Minimalist recipes in the Times, so far everything I've made out of How to Cook Everything has been really good. I actually use it as much as my old Fannie Farmer, which is my normal go-to book for everything!)

(And just for good measure, here is Bittman's super-simple homemade mayonnaise recipe - we've just stopped buying mayonnaise, as this is SO good and SO easy.)

Homemade Mayonnaise
1 egg
1/2 tsp dry mustard (I use double or triple that)
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice (or other acid, depending on what you're going to use it for)
1 cup oil (for everyday use, half should be extra virgin olive oil and the other half some neutral oil. If you want it for aioli or some other strong-flavored mayonnaise, use all olive oil; if you want it to taste just like Hellman's for tomato sandwiches this summer, use all peanut or canola.)

Combine egg, mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, and acid in food processor. Turn it on. Drizzle in the oil, slowly at first, then in a thin steady stream until it's all in. (Sometimes I pour it into the little pusher thingy on my Cuisinart - it has a pinhole in the bottom - and it drips it in perfectly slowly.) Eat on everything. Keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


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