It's been a few days since I've been in the kitchen. The mother-in-law has been in town and keeping us busy. After a couple of nights of take-out, I was ready to cook.
Once again I took inspiration from the Serious Eats blog feature "Weekend Cook and Tell". This week's theme was "What's in your Pantry". Really, this is a pretty easy theme for me, because I cook from my pantry all the time. However, I have had two cans of crab lurking in my cabinet for some time. I bought them on a lark at Costco, but once I had them home, I was a little scared of them, unsure, just what would be in the cans.
Today was the day, and crab cakes was the dish. The method I use for my crab cakes is based on a Tom Douglas recipe for crab cakes from his Seattle Kitchen cookbook .
Here's the ingredients:
10 slices sourdough bread (because that is what I had in my pantry, white bread would probably be better) with the crusts cut off
1 handful fresh parsley
2 cans crab meat (note it is crab, not krab, a good sign)
1 bell pepper, minced
1 large shallot, minced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
Sriracha to taste
(there is a lemon in the picture but I decided not to use it)
I started by putting the bread in the food processor and pulsing to make crumbs. Once I was done with the bread, I tossed in the parsley to mince. I combined the bread crumbs and parsley, measured out 1 cup of the mixture and put it in a bowl, them put half of the remaining crumbs in a pyrex dish.
Next I put the minced bell pepper, shallot and crab in a dish towel and squeezed it to remove all the excess moisture. I added this to the bread crumbs in the bowl and added the remaining ingredients stirring to combine and tasting for seasoning. I decided it needed a touch of salt and some black pepper. I divided the mixture into six equal portions.
Then formed the mixture into patties, laying them in the bread crumbs as I finished each one.
Once they were all done, I poured the remaining bread crumbs on top, covered the dish and then stashed it in the fridge until I was ready to cook (it needs to sit for at least one hour).
When I was ready to complete the meal I melted a bit of butter with some olive oil in a pan. I added three of the crab cakes (I didn't want to crowd the pan so the cakes would brown well) and browned them on each side, then I put them on a cookie sheet while I browned the remaining cakes. I popped the pan into a preheated 400 degree oven and let them cook for 12 minutes.
Alongside I made two salads. The first featured red lettuce (that I grew myself, thank you very much), diced tomato, fresh parsley, chives and a lemon vinaigrette. The second had diced mango, chive blossoms, fresh basil and a bit of sea salt.
Now, I tried the crab when I opened the can and to be honest, I was not impressed. It had a weird texture and wasn't super tasty. However, in crab cake form, it was quite good, maybe not fresh-picked crab good, but good. The husband and the mother-in-law both liked it too. The green salad was just meh. but the mango salad was delicious and really good with the slightly spicy crab cakes. If I was to see canned crab at the Costco again, I might just buy it again.