Thursday, February 1, 2007

In a pinch, Crabcakes

One of my all time favorite foods is crab. I used to be a lobster girl but once I began paying attention to my diet I realized that lobster wasn't all that delicious without the butter. If you can get good crab it's best without toppings. Just crack em' open and eat them cold. I would happily eat crab every day if only I could afford to.

To suffice a crab craving on a smaller budget, I turn to crab cakes. One of my favorite restaurants in Rochester (where I grew up) is Tapas 177 Lounge. They serve the best crab cakes I've ever had. Rather then stuffing them full of bread crumbs, the crab is the star of the show and in each bite you get one or two huge pieces. Another thing I love about their crab cakes is the spice. It doesn't overwhelm the dish but it definitely gets your taste buds dancing and craving more.

I've made crab cakes three times and each new attempt is better then the last. With the above goals as my guide, I've adapted the amount of filling as well as what spices I throw in. While I still can't recreate the dish I did come close this time. A couple of ingredients that I believe are crucial in a delicious crab cake are: Lemon, worcestershire sauce, cajun spice, mayonnaise and scallions. NEVER leave out the scallions.

On Thursday I suggested crab cakes and a left over arugula salad for a quick dinner. Alex not only happily agreed but offered to make the cakes himself. Lucky me!! The recipe below is what we wound up with. They had the perfect amount of spice and a good consistency that stayed together during the flipping process. Like I said, this is one of those recipes you can play around with- just make sure you include the ingredients above. If you can afford fresh crab then by all means use that- otherwise the canned tastes just fine.

Crab Cakes:

- 2 large cans of crab (back and claw meat)
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. Cajun spice
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- salt & pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Add extra mayonnaise if it is too dry and extra saltines if it is not sticking together. Shape mixture into thick patties and fry in olive oil until both sides are browned.

Try not to eat them all, I dare you!!

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