Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Crab Cake Success!

Hey! Crab cakes are darn hard to pull off. Luckily, last night I hit a crab cake home run, thanks to two cookbooks — THE FOOD OF SANTA FE and Alton Brown's I'M JUST HERE FOR THE FOOD. There's a tendency in crab cakes to make them too rich, but the Santa Fe recipe was spot on — crab, bread crumbs, eggs (but not too many), parsley and Djon mustard (I subbed out a spicy brown mustard from Sierra Nevada made with their porter).

The accompanying sauce was whipped with with red onions, cilantro, oranges, roasted tomatoes, chilis and a bit of adobo sauce, mixed and then reduced with wine. What I got from Mr. Brown, my personal hero, was getting over my fear of frying. That's right...a scary admission from a Southern cook! When I was growing up, everything was pan-fired in "saved" fat, pulled from a frightening can of lard (stored on top of teh stove), Crisco, old bacon fat and god knows what else, saved from year to year as a study in bacteria culturing...yes, my mother once sent an entire Thanksgiving dinner to the hospital with food poisoning, but that was because of a "casserole"made of canned English peas, Velveeta and warm mayonaise. I wisely fed my serving to the dog, who threw up.

Anyway, I'm not a great fryer. Last night I just took a deep breath, a couple of glasses of wine (Benziger Family Winery's chard...I love that vineyard and the wine), a 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet, a thermometer and 1/2-inch of vegetable oil...perfect! I may have to address the calamari issue next week.

Of course we had to grind out a snowy hike today to pay for those crab cakes!

And Happy New Year!

7 comments:

HaroldB said...

Michael,
My crab cakes use: crab, bread-crumbs, eggs - then put in "Old Bay" seasoning. Mmmmmm, delicious!

Happy New Year, Ya'll ~ ; - )

Hazcat said...

MB,

If the calamari is a success we need to talk!

I LOVE fried calamari, the best I ever had was (believe it or not) at the Hard Rock Hotel Resort in Orlando (Universal) FL.

Sweet, tender and the perfect golden, crispy, light batter.

Hazcat

PS I too, am an armature cook but my GF is FANTASTIC!!

PawPaw said...

Oh, hell. Crabcakes are easy. Use one can of crabmeat, one roll of ritz crackers and enough egg to bind it together.

My basic recipe is five cans of crab meat, five rolls of crackers, and two eggs. Season to taste.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, crab cakes. Just like mi abuelita used to make for me cuando yo era un muchachito en Santa Fe . . . .

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