Monday, January 7, 2013

Crabby Cakes

I have done a lot of discovering. Number one: Schar breads, they are the best. They're really, really good and they don't mold. Being held in a modified atmosphere, they aren't stale when you get them. I made bon mi with one, omg, I thought I had died and gone to GF heaven. This last holiday season my husband and I rented a cabin in the San Juans with our puppy dog and did some crabbing. Now, there are many types of crabs in the ocean but the best, by all amounts, are the dungeness crabs. Sweet and delicious, I don't know why you would do a whole lot more than just eat them. Boil a two pound crab for about 11 minutes and viola: perfection! We only caught one dungeness crab, and one little rock crab. Rock crab's not too bad, but he was barley legal and there wasn't much to him. I cooked him anyhow, mixed him with some semi-local shrimps (even though the imports looked better, buy local) and made crabish cakes. They were good!
This might sound like a no-brainier, but let me tell you what I endured. Warped old non-stick skillets, no spatulas, knives that are made from cardboard, and wearing a head lamp on my head to see what the hell I was cooking. Hardships, I know! I know! I don't travel without my own knives, and neither should you. Julia Child once said to bring your own good knives everywhere you go. I do draw the line at short social visits, but unless I am well acquainted with my friend's knives, I bring my own. During our several days, in this sorely under furnished kitchen, I cooked up some epic food. I cooked a pot roast WITHOUT A PAN, and also cooked crab cakes, pancakes, goose hash (wonderful), cream o' rice, and some other things that were tasty. I got some great kale from the cutest farm stand ever, and some fresh farm eggs. We even picked up some local lamb and and will be eating it shortly.
Anyhow, when making a gluten free crab cake, you must have patience. GF breads take time to soak up liquid. Choose a good crumb, one you make yourself is good, but I have trouble with my bread molding before I can make crumbs. The Schar crumbs are really quite good, if expensive. You must make soft cakes, not overwork you crab and be gentle with them while cooking. You MUST cook them in butter. If you have a milk allergy, well sucks to be you. Your crab cakes will just taste nasty, don't do that nasty stuff to delicious crab. Also, don't make them too dry, some people make them like bread cakes, but really the inside of a crab cake should be almost ... custardy, but not really. I don't measure anything, ever really, so you have to take these measurements with a grain of salt, and use your best judgement when making your cakes. These are a ... guideline.
Gluten Free Crab Cakes Ingredients: 2 Cups crab meat 1/3 Cup minced celery 1/3 Cup minced onion 1/3 - 1/2 Cup GF fine bread crumbs 1 egg 1/3 Cup mayonnaise (homemade is best) salt pepper cayenne pepper (you CANNOT leave that out) Butter More crumbs Method: Mix everything but the butter, extra crumbs and crab in a bowl, whisk well. Make sure it's not too wet or too dry, you should be able to make cakes from it. Fold in the crab. Heat your butter in a large flat heavy bottom pan. Medium heat, medium high, don't let it brown too much. Pull out a golf ball and a half sized lump of mixture and pat it a bit to make it round, place in the extra crumbs and the into the hot pan. I like to pat extra crumbs on the top of mine rather than flipping it. Sprinkle, pat, and this can be done in the pan. Wait two minutes, less? Until the bottom is done and golden brown. Carefully flip, and cook. Remove with care. Add more butter, repeat till you run out of crab. Eat. Repeat.

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