Douglas cooks up crab-cake classics, innovation
|||Classic crab diversified|
Here are recipes for two classics and one new take on crab cakes, from Tom Douglas' book, "I Love Crab Cakes!" with Shelley Lance (William Morrow, 2006, $19.95).
The traditional crabmeat for these Chesapeake Bay Classic Crab Cakes is East Coast blue crab. But the recipe works with Dungeness crabs, Douglas said. "If your Dungie tastes salty, you may want to omit the salt in the recipe because there's already salt in the Old Bay Seasoning."
Traditionally, these cakes are served with tartar sauce, but Douglas prefers the tangy zip of green or red cocktail sauce to offset their creaminess.
CHESAPEAKE BAY CLASSIC CRAB CAKES
Put the egg yolk, Old Bay, mustard, lemon zest and juice, and vinegar in the bowl of a mini-food processor or a blender and process until smooth. Gradually pour in the oil with the machine running until the mixture emulsifies and forms a mayonnaise. Season with the salt and pepper.
Transfer the mayo to a bowl, and using a rubber spatula, fold in the scallions and the crabmeat until well combined.
Combine the bread crumbs and the parsley in a shallow container. Form the crab mixture into 8 patties about 3 inches wide and 3/4-inch thick, and drop them into the bread crumb-parsley mixture. Dredge the crab cakes on both sides. If you have time, leave the crab cakes in the container of bread crumbs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for an hour or more.
To fry, put 2 large nonstick skillets over medium heat. Add about 2 tablespoons butter to each pan. When the butter is melted, add 4 crab cakes to each pan, patting off excess crumbs first. Slowly fry the crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides and hot through, turning once with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side. If the crab cakes brown too quickly, reduce the heat. The internal temperature of a cooked crab should be 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer crab cakes to plates, 2 per person, and serve with your choice of sauce and lemon wedges.
To broil: To use this recipe for crab cakes that are broiled but not breaded, use 2 egg yolks, make the crab cake mixture, and shape into 8 cakes. Omit dredging in bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours or overnight. Arrange the cakes in a pan and broil until they're hot through and lightly golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, rotating the pan as needed to brown the cakes evenly. Makes 8 large crab cakes (4 servings).
Note on egg safety by Douglas: "Use very fresh Grade A or Grade AA eggs (check the expiration date on the label before buying) and always keep the egg refrigerated. It's important to be aware of the potential dangers of salmonella and other harmful bacteria that may occur in eggs ... Don't keep eggs at room temperature for more than an hour, and always wash your hands, work surface and equipment before and after using raw eggs. Use products that have been made with raw eggs within one day."
ETTA'S NEW DUNGENESS CRAB CAKES
In a mini food processor, combine the egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, bell pepper, onion, the 2 teaspoons of parsley, Tabasco, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Pulse to finely mince the vegetables and combine all the ingredients. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until the mixture emulsifies and forms a thin mayo.
Transfer the mayo to a large bowl and stir in the sour cream, then use a rubber spatula to fold in the crabmeat. Gently form 8 patties, about 3-inches wide by 3/4-inch thick.
Put the bread crumbs in a shallow container and mix in the 3 tablespoons parsley. Lightly dredge the patties on both sides in the bread crumbs. Cover the crab cakes with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
Put two large nonstick skillets over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons butter to each pan. When the butter is melted, add 4 crab cakes to each pan. Gently fry the crab cakes until they are golden brown on both sides and hot through, turning once with a spatula, about 4 minutes per side. The internal temperature should be 155 degrees.
Transfer the crab cakes to plates, serving 2 to each person, accompanied by ramekins of green cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Makes 8 large crab cakes (4 servings).
Here's Tom Douglas' version of an old-fashioned Chinese-American classic, egg foo yung. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the tops of these delicately flavored crab patties or get feisty with chili paste or Tabasco sauce.
CRAB FOO YUNG
Whisk the eggs with the soy sauce, mirin and Tabasco in a large bowl until slightly foamy. Stir in the crabmeat, mushrooms, sprouts, celery and scallions.
Heat 2 large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat with about 3 tablespoons oil in each one. When the oil is hot, ladle as many patties as will fit into each pan (3 or 4) using a 4-ounce ladle or a 1/2-cup measuring cup. Fry the patties until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes total, turning the heat down as needed. Use a spatula to turn the patties from side to side a few times while they're cooking so they don't get too dark. Drain patties on paper towels. Keep the finished patties in a 200-degree oven while you wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more oil, and continue to fry the remaining patties. You should get about 8 patties. Serve with lemon wedges and Tabasco or hot chili paste. Makes 8 patties, 4 servings.
Recipes adapted from "I Love Crab Cakes!" by Tom Douglas with Shelley Lance, William Morrow, 2006, $19.95