Monday, 19 March 2012

Mmm Monday...Crab Cake Hoopla

So the first Mmm Monday cook off started out as an expensive venture with crab, and exotic Japanese ingredients, not all of which I had at home.  But as I cook often with an asian flare, I welcome all the new ingredients to my flavour collection.  We started at Superstore doing some shopping with Rita, who always seems to help us increase our productivity...

Rita making friends at Superstore!

Alright so last week I picked a crab cake recipe, never having made crab cakes before.  Today I made my own spruced up version if the recipe.  So the recipe involved making a blond roux (butter and flour), adding milk, which I substituted with cream and added garlic and red Thai hot peppers for more flavour, cooking that out with a bay leaf.  I seasoned with salt and pepper at this point as well and then chilled it briefly. 

Next the recipe called to the crab, bread crumbs, diced red pepper, green onion, worcestershire, lemon and chill for 30 min.  My version of the recipe added steamed (frozen) blue crab because Jennifer and I found ourselves without the heart to end the life of Rita's new snow crab friend.  I then added Frito BBQ Hoops crumbs instead of bread crumbs, green onion, diced garlic pickles instead of red peppers, lime instead of lemon and worcestershire.  After chilling I rolled myself up some little crab balls in some more crushed Frito Hoop crumbs, and pan fried in duck fat. 

Rather than a garlic lemon mayo, I served this dish with a sauteed ginger-lime Kewpie (Japanese mayo with a richer and more unique flavour profile). 

This project took about 2 hours of very relaxed prep and pace.  I saved the stock from steaming the crab and think I will myself a seafood miso soup later (aka miso paste is about 7 bucks at your local asian market and is a very fun and versatile ingredient!).

So, I gotta admit the crab cakes were a bit of a bomb.  Tell you why.  Mushy.  Mushy inside.  And I worried as I picked the crab that it itself was a little mushy perhaps because frozen, and such small crabs.  The snow crab would really have worked a lot better.  Additionally, the reciple called for a fair amount of liquid, of which I even left out a good amount.  I`m wondering if bread crumbs may have also produced a more desireable texture...but the flavour was really incredible.  Lots of flavours that somehow complimented each other very well.  The pickle, the chili spice as well as the sweet spice from the in my mouth.  And I always enjoy a good scoop of Kewpie mayo flavoured with anything!

I think I definitely botched a bit with measurements (I am just not a measurer and may have learned my lesson in following recipes), but I`m not entirely confident that this recipe produces the kind of crab cake that my mouth enjoys.  Think I`ll look around for some variations and give it another go sometime soon.   Thanks for checking back and I`m looking forward to making something a little more spectacular next time.  So off I am to find next Mmm Monday`s recipe!

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