Monday, January 5, 2009

Crab Cakes

Having used crab for bait in my fish traps for years, I guess I just never gave much thought to eating them myself. They always looked appetizing but I wasn't giving them the spot in my family's diet that they deserved. Our local varieties (Yellow, Red, and Chocolate) have always been popular with my customers. I brought home six "one armed bandits",and we gave it a go.

First I set up my Coleman camping stove on the back patio. Next I got a big pot of salted water boiling on the inside stove. I then transferred the pot to the outside stove and added the live crab. Ten minutes and they had turned to a beautiful orange to red color and were ready to come out.

An hour later and a well employed nut cracker and a half a pound of some of the best lump crabmeat you've ever tasted was liberated. Local food isn't necessarily fast and easy.

I was done. The rest was up to my wife.

The ingredients:

The recipe:
1 stalk of celery diced
1/2 red onion diced
1/2 orange bell pepper diced
handful of parsley (home-grown of course)
seasoning to taste: a scant of each dry mustard, ground ginger, freshly ground pepper, salt, cardamom, paprika. Then a couple bay leaves.

Saute until soft.

When the vegetables were done, I cooled them down. Ina said cool until room temperature....but had a family to feed before too late and I just got home from work. So I popped them in the freezer for a sec.

While it was cooling, I mixed together
a couple of eggs
1/4 c. sour cream
lemon zest
a bit of Dijon mustard
about 3/4 cup of bread crumbs.

After about 10 minutes, I mixed in the crab meat - don't forget to look for the pieces of shell your husband might miss - and the almost cooled vegetables.

I put the whole mix in the refrigerator to set. That's when I sat and read intermittently a bit of "New Moon" by Stephanie Meyer and talked to Jason and Maks. I set the timer for 25 minutes - Ina said 30. Close enough.

I formed the mix into cakes and coated with a bit of flour. That's a tip I learned from Paula Deen. I pan fried in 1 tbls butter and 2 tbls corn oil. the recipe called for olive oil but the only olive oil I had was the really good stuff and I thought it might be too much flavor.

And that's it. They were great. It is a food of love for sure. Not convenience food. Although that has its place. :)

Feeding your family with local food is healthy and fun we all worked on it together and it took some time. Quality time we spent together. Really its about returning to our roots and using the foods available to us locally.

Subsistence. Sustainability.