It isn’t that I haven’t been reading. I have.
It is partly that I haven’t been cooking. Because I haven’t been.
It isn’t that I’ve not been painting. Because I have. A little anyways.
Mostly, I haven’t been posting because this summer has been a whirlwind of events! Since my last post I’ve been camping, been to a Renaissance fair, went on a float trip, had my birthday (complete with concerts, horse races, and dinner parties) and just generally trying to make the most out of this terrible summer (weather-wise) that we’ve had here in Seattle.
So, to get started again, I would like to tell you about a wonderful new thing I have discovered on my phone. It is an app by Epicurious. If you haven’t tried it out, go download it now. I know it is available for the Droid and iPhone.
Last weekend, my friend and I decided to do an impromptu dinner party for my birthday. We got in the car and set out for the store without a plan. I thought crab cakes sounded good, so we searched on my phone and were offered 36 options. We picked the recipe for mini crab cakes that came from “Bon Apetit”.
We made them with sides of asparagus and roasted fingerling potatoes and it was a decadent and wonderful meal. Multiple people said that these were the best crab cakes they had ever had.
I wasn’t interested in the “mini” part about the crab cakes or about baking them, so we made some alterations. (including doubling the original amount of crab meat) I’m sure the original would have been nice, but here is the recipe we made and it was awesome.
Birthday Crab Cakes
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 4 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- Large pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1lb fresh lump crab meat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded
- 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
- butter for pan
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Add Parmesan and egg; beat to blend. Beat in sour cream, citrus peels, 4 teaspoons chopped chives, coarse salt, and cayenne pepper. Fold in crab meat.
Mix Panko and remaining chives. Drop balls of the crab mixture into the panko and form into patties. We made 18 with this recipe. You can make more or less depending on size preference.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 stick of butter and a splash of olive oil. Once butter is melted and skillet is hot, add crab cakes.
Don’t crowd them. You will need to do multiple batches and refresh butter when it runs out. Much like okra, the key is to not touch the crab cakes until they are well fried and golden brown on the bottom. If you mess with them and try and flip them early, they will fall apart on you. Try to only flip them once.
When you pull them, put them on a paper towel to drain and serve as soon as they are all done! We served them with a dollop of Captain Toady’s Tartar Sauce. I hadn’t tried it before, but it was super tasty.
With the roasted potatoes and asparagus, it was a surprisingly simple, wonderful meal. It made for a wonderful birthday celebration. Give these crab cakes a try. They will wow your crowd. Guaranteed.