A Little About Me

New York, New York
As a newly married woman, it has become my mission in life to learn how to cook. Gone are the days of picking up sushi and ordering curries. In order to jump-start my education, I enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education's Fine Cooking I course where I learned the basics, from roasting to boiling to mousse-making (ok, maybe not that basic)! I've attempted to replicate some recipes - somewhat successfully- and create a few of my own. This blog is for friends and foodies and is intended to document my cooking adventures (and occasional fiascoes). Enjoy the pictures and bon appetite!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crab Cakes: An Appetizer turned Entree

I'm not going to lie, it's been a slow summer in terms of my cooking and blogging about it. Due to my injury, I was unable to cook for a little while - let alone move or wet my finger. As it heals, I've been getting back into the groove of things and made some really tasty crab cakes last weekend. My husband and I had planned to go out for dinner that evening, but my at-home crab cake 'appetizer' quickly became our dinner once LeBron came on television to announce his decision. To balance the fried cake, I threw together a half-canned, half-fresh salad and the whole meal was really satisfying (even though Lebron's decision wasn't)!

1 1b jumbo lump crab meat
3 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 garlic cloves, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp celery salt
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 large beaten eggs
plateful of panko bread crumbs
olive oil for frying

Start by finely dicing the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and red bell pepper. Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the vegetables, adding the celery salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. Remove from the heat when everything is super soft and wilted and set aside to let cool.

Place the crab meat on a cutting board and, with a knife, chop the meat into small pieces.

When the vegetables have cooled, mix them in with the crabmeat, season with salt and pepper, add the dijon mustard and mix well.

Shape the mixture into little patties. Dip the patty into the egg wash followed by the panko bread crumbs. This is how I made my crab cakes, but a friend (and professional chef) recently told me it's better if you mix some off the egg and breadcrumbs into the mixture instead of using it as a coating. I will have to give that a try next time.....

Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the crab cakes on medium heat for a couple of minutes, or until brown. Remove and place on a paper towel where excess oil can be absorbed and the crab cake can cool so it won't burn your mouth.

Ingredients for Red Chili Mayo
1 cup mayo
4 tsp chili-garlic sauce
3 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl for a tasty dipping sauce!

Half-Canned, Half-Fresh Salad
1 can white beans
1 can corn,
1 can hearts of palm, sliced
watercress or arugula
1 avocado, chunked
olive oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper

Lately, I've been making many variations of this easy salad which involves mixing some canned items with some fresh items. I like to use some kind of canned white bean, usually garbanzo or cannellini, (excellent source of protein), a can of corn, either baby or whole kernel, canned hearts of palm, ripe avocado chunks and a leafy green, usually arugula or watercress. I toss everything into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and dress with olive oil and lots of lemon juice.

The salad balanced the crab cakes perfectly and the two made for a very filling meal (which we ate in front of the tv that night).

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