Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mr. Hawthorne Picks De Crabs For Crab Cakes!

Sunday lunch.
Crab cakes with a pineapple salsa.

I have a pound of crab meat in the bowl.
 Mr. Hawthorne was kind enough
to steam the crabs and pick the meat.

Crabs are plentiful now.
They're big and plump and juicy as they fatten themselves up
before they take a little over-winter rest in the bottoms.
As the water temperatures start to fall and the days get shorter,
the crabs fill up on food to last them through winter.
They burrow themselves into sandy bottoms to spend the winter.
The crab buries himself by forcing his
abdomen backwards into the bottom
with swift snapping motions.
The crab also picks and claws at the bottom
with its hind walking legs and flips the sand away
 with the paddles of its swimming legs.
Takes a few minutes and the crab is at a 45° angle
with only his antennae, the tips of his eye stalks,
and his breathing channels visible.
The crab does not hibernate.
The crab lies dormant.
Usually November through May.

It's Crab Cake time right now.
 At the Hawthornes'.
we take advantage of the season and eat accordingly.

 On to the Crab Cakes:

8 oz crab meat

1 TB sliced scallions
1 TB minced green pepper
squirt of yellow mustard
1 egg, beaten
1 TB panko
Old Bay seasoning
ground salt and pepper to taste
additional Panko for breading
 Mix all ingredients together
except for crab meat and additional panko.
Gently, fold in crab meat.

Now wait to see how we form our crab cakes.

 Lightly mix ingredients
You don't want to break up the meat.

 Place a biscuit cutter or short tin can on waxed paper
and sprinkle a thin layer of panko on the bottom.

Spoon crab meat mixture into the mold.

 Sprinkle more panko over top
and press down with the back of a spoon.
 You want tight little packages full of crab meat.
Look at those chunks!
This is why you don't mix the crap out of
your crab mixture.

You can either fry them up now and eat them
or you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap
and put them in a freezer bag, destined to the deep freeze.
And, by the way, these freeze very well.

In January and February, we'll be eating crab cakes!

To cook:
 Add one tablespoon each butter and oil to a hot skillet.
When butter bubbles (350°), add in crab cakes.
2-3 minutes each side.
Remember not to crowd the pan.

Turn over.
Cook another short 2 minutes or so,
then drain on paper towels.

And serve ...
with my pineapple, orange marmalade,
roasted red pepper, horseradish, and lime zest salsa.

Pineapple Salsa
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup finely chopped pineapple
2 TB roasted red pepper, minced
1 TB horseradish, drained
zest of 1/2 lime
Combine all ingredients.
Mix well.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Please enjoy.
You can thank me in the morning.

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