Generally, I wait for crab season here in Northern Caliifornia to make crab cakes. Because I am too cheap to spring for the pre-shelled crab (and too fussy to eat the crab substitute) I patiently pull the crabs apart, dealing with the sharp, unpleasant shells as a kind of penitence for the coming delight of gorging on luscious, buttery crab cakes.
However several months ago in the SF Chronicle, they reviewed canned crab. I almost didn't read the article, as the notion of canned crab struck me as about as appealing as canned green beans - . But, happily I did read it and the top contender for REAL CRAB in a can was the brand Byrd's - found at Trader Joe's in the rerigerated section. I am not sure what brands they tasted besides Byrd's, but it came out with a score of about 90 out of a possible 100, so I didn't pay any attention to the others. This group of tasters is notoriously fussy - and I don't always agree with them - but in this case, there were spot on!
So I bought some and tried it out and AMAZINGLY, it is quite wonderful! Saturday I made a batch of crab cakes, so thought I'd share the recipe. Because it was warm here, I served them with sliced tomates and a green salad. A very simple easy supper - no muss, no fuss - and happily gobbled down by the two of us! So I thought I'd share the recipe with you all:
1 lb. Byrd's canned crab
3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs (I toasted stale baguette slices and then threw them in the food processor)
4-5 finely chopped green onions (or you might substitute chopped shallots and parsley)
1/2 C. cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 heaping Tbsp. Dijon mustard
healthy shot of Tabasco (I have also used a finely minced jalapeno in this - some or all of one, depending on the people you are serving)
a shallow bowl of coarse ground corn meal (polenta)
Mix all the ingredients except the corn meal in a mixing bowl. Stir until really well mixed and cohesive. If it seems too dry and does not congeal, add a tad more cream and/or lemon juice. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours at least. You can make these a couple of days before you plan to eat them, if necessary.
Heat a griddle or skillet on the stove with 1-2 TBSP. unsalted butter (my preference, you may prefer canola or a light olive oil). You may need to add butter as you cook them.
Form the crab mixture into patties. Place in the bowl of corn meal and pat the cornmeal onto the pattie.
Fry on a medium high heat for 3-4 minutes and gently turn to cook the second side. Really - be gentle. They like to fall apart!
If necessary, drain on a paper towel and serve immediately. When I serve these as appetizers, I serve them on a frill of red lettuce with a lemon section, some parsley and a few capers. I have served them with a very garlicky aioli also - yum.
A nice sauvignon blanc goes will with these when served as a main course.
A pound of crab make about 14 crab cakes for me. So - we ate half and I put the other half on a cookie sheet to freeze while we ate dinner. After dinner, I put the frozen crab cakes in a ziplock bag and back into the freezer for a future dinner. Freezing them first, uncovered on the cookie sheet, eliminates the condensation that occurs and causes them to be mushy the next time.
Enjoy! _________________ L'appetit vient en mangeant. -Rabelais
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 2498 Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:48 pm Post subject:
Nuts! I just came back from Trader Joe's. Would that I had read your note first! Next trip.
We love crab cakes and they're one of the few foods Iz is actually enthusiastic about.
Anyone got a recipe for a great sauce to have with crab cakes? Maybe something with a little zing? _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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