Monday, January 14, 2008

I love crab cakes!

Yesterday was filled with running around town. I had to go to the bank and there were some other places I wanted to go.

Manfriend decided to go with me, but he did not want to go to the bank since I did not know how long it would take.

So I dropped him at the bookstore on my way and then came back for him a bit later. We planned to do some more errands and then get a late lunch.

Now I cannot, C-A-N-N-O-T go into a bookstore without gravitating toward the cookbook section. And darn those sneaky bookstore people, they rearranged the place since I had been in there last. But I found those cookbooks.

And of course I bought. Three.

I got "Everyday Italian" by Giada De Laurentiis. For a skinny chick, she does have some great recipes. I got "Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet" by Padma Lakshmi. It sounded like there would be some big-flavor recipes in there and I figured I would give another skinny chick the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being able to cook.

But the one that really caught my eye was "I Love Crab Cakes: 50 Recipes for an American Classic."

Yes. I do love crab cakes, too. And so does manfriend.

After the bookstore, we went a couple other places then decided to grab a beer, get some appetizers and watch a bit of the Cowboys-Giants game.

After that we came home and I was looking through that crab cake book. I was not at all hungry, but I knew later on I would want something for dinner, though probably not a whole meal.

I quickly checked my fridge and pantry. I had almost everything I needed to make my own, simple version of crab cakes.

I thought about making one from the book, but I want to really look at those and decide on one and take the proper time to make them.

So after a quick inventory, I went to the store. I needed to get milk anyway for my tea, so it wasn't like I was making a trip just for crab cake fixings.

Plus, turns out I had all the stuff I needed except an ear of corn.

Yes, for those of you who know me, I put corn in them. My aversion to corn is pretty much just for the canned and frozen stuff. And I don't like it in soups.

But in the crab cakes, it gives a nice crunch and a bit of sweetness to use the fresh, white corn.

I even had the good, crab claw meat in my fridge. I had bought it over the holidays planning on a deviled crab or crab cakes anyway and the date on it was good until March. Sweet.

So, my simplified crab cakes, with no measurements because I eyeball everything:

Crab meat
bread crumbs
lemon juice
red chili paste
red onion
white corn (raw, cut off the ear)
dash of sea salt

I mixed it all up together, formed the cakes and cooked them over medium-high heat until crispy and browned. (I had enough to put five of the cakes into the freezer for later.)

The sauce was a splash of Chardonnay, a squeeze of mayo, lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon, one garlic clove, about a tablespoon of capers and some more of the dried dill. I gave that a couple spins with my hand blender until it was smooth. It came out creamy and tangy and the capers were sort of a "hmm... what is that...?" ingredient. Yum.

Now some of the recipes in the book are far more complicated than that. But that won't stop me from trying them. And when I do, I will try to remember to post them here.

Oh yeah, I also made a baked pear with vanilla ice cream to share with the manfriend.

I took a really ripe pear (I had one of the red varieties, not sure which, any will do), cut it into quarters and scooped out the core. Then I cut it into eighths.

I placed the slices into a glass baking dish, dotted them with butter, poured on a couple tablespoons of dark rum, sprinkled on a scant amount of brown sugar then some cinnamon and baked at 400 degrees until it was all warm and bubbly.

I served the slices with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

This is one of my favorite, easy desserts. It's even good without the ice cream.

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