It’s official. I’ve ruined Dave. Apparently, all those hours of listening to Food Networks’ “Chopped” in the background has seeped into his being. How else would you account for what he said when I served him dinner tonight? “That was great … and the plating, too.”
I don’t know if I should feel elated or ashamed.
Tonight’s dinner was Crab Cakes and Wasabi Mayonnaise. The crab was acquired on a trip to the Oregon coast last month. Driving back through South … South Something, you know, that town that’s somewhere between Marysville and Oregon, but a little closer to Raymond … anyway, we saw a sign that read, “Fresh Crab ~ $5.99/lb.” Well, we screeched into the parking lot on two wheels and dashed up the steps. The crab was so fresh, it wasn’t actually even there yet. We had to wait 20 minutes for the girl to unpack it and stick it in the freezer display. Here’s a pic of how it looked just after she removed six for us:
I’m a pretty big fan of crab-anything. If you’ve never made crab cakes, there’s almost nothing to it. Mix, shape, fry. See how easy that was?
- 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
- 1 small red pepper, diced fine
- 2 green onions, diced fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Dijon mayonnaise
- juice of one lemon
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon or 2 tsp fresh
- 1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning
- 3 dashes Tabasco
- 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
- panko or Ritz cracker crumbs, about 2/3 of a cup (enough to bind everything together without it being too wet)
- fresh cooked crab, about a pound
- In a pan, melt butter and add red pepper and green onions. Saute about 5 minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook another two minutes, stirring and watching so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Remove pan from heat and pour contents in a big-enough-bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the crab. Stir to mix well and to make sure you have enough panko or Ritz to hold everything together.
Before adding the crab meat, check it over very carefully. Those little shell pieces are crafty hiders. When you’re sure it’s shell-free, add the meat to the bowl and stir just enough to combine.
Form into flattened patties and cook in peanut or canola oil till brown on both sides. As each batch is removed, blot with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet in a 350 oven. This will ensure that the centers get cooked through and will keep the crab cakes warm until you’re ready to serve them.
Serve with Wasabi Mayonnaise (recipe below) or cocktail sauce (I served with both), or tartar, whatever else you like.
- mayonnaise, about 1/2 cup
- wasabi paste … a dab or more, depending on you
- wasabi powder, just a dash (optional, but I think it helps)
Something you may or may not have picked up about us is that we like … no, we LOVE heat. It’s possible we’ve ruined our taste buds over the years and have no idea we’re tormenting our esophaguses (esophagi?), but for whatever reason, we just cannot get enough spice in our diet. If a recipe calls for one jalapeno, I put in three. If it calls for a dash of red chili flakes, I dump in a capful. So when making wasabi mayonnaise, I pretty much ignored the instructions to “add a dab of wasabi paste” and opted instead for a big swirly “W.” Which stands, of course, for Woodward. Or Wasabi. Or just, Wow.
And then I followed up the wasabi paste with a hefty dash of dried wasabi powder.
You’ve got a little tin of dried wasabi in your spice cabinet, right?