Friday, May 25, 2012

Crabby Day

So it was a crabby day at work today, and what better way to relish the crabbiness than to make crab cakes!

Hubby and I both love imitation crab (we think it's better than the real deal), and we happened to pick some up last time we went grocery shopping.

I read up some crab cake recipes, and it seemed pretty easy to make. Only thing was that I couldn't find any crackers (recommended one was Ritz) at our local grocery store, so I replaced it with some bread crumbs instead.

What may be a pricy item in fancy-shmancy restaurants is actually incredibly easy to make. Here's my tweaked recipe of...

Colourful Crabcakes

3 strips of imitation crabmeat, minced into fine pieces
1/2 bell pepper (in any color), minced into itsy-bitsy pieces
1 scallion, minced into small (I'm running out of words here) pieces
3 tablespoon of seasoned bread crumbs, or you can replace with minced crackers
1 egg
half a lemon
few drops of soy sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
flour for dusting
1 tablespoon mayonaise

1. Prepare all need-to-cut ingredients.

Choppin it up

2. Combine everything in a measure cup or a bowl and give it a good mix. Squeeze in the half lemon. It would look like a festive medley of colors.

3. Shape into patties and dust both sides with flour. One tip is to use a separate plate, put a layer of flour first and then layer the (soggy) cake on top, then dust it off with more flour. It might not hold together, so use a stirring spoon or fork to move it gently transfer onto the frying pan

4. Heat up the frying pan with butter or oil. I used some butter to make it more flavorful.

Fry it up!

You can put it on high heat first, but it takes some time to cook until the white flour turns color, so make sure to turn the heat down or else the inside will be overcooked. Add some more oil if its taking too long to cook. It's done when the color turns yellowish-brown. Don't worry if it looks a little burnt.

5. Transfer onto a plate, or if you want, you can drain out the additional oil/butter first on a paper towel.

I also made some creamy mashed potatoes to complement the crab cakes. Here's my rendition of...

Christmas in May

1 large baking potato, boiled and mashed
1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon mayonaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup of green peas, steamed
1 tablespoon cranberry
salt and pepper to taste

Remember the potato I cooked from the left-over chicken stock from the instant noodle day? Well I'm putting it to good use. It took considerable work to mash up the potatoes, but I must say it was therapeutic. Since I had a crabby day, it was almost as if I was punching a smallish mashable bag.

1. Mash up the potatoes after it is thoroughly boiled. Poke it with a fork. It should be soft all around the surface.

2. Drop in the butter and continue mixing. If the butter hasn't been thawed, you may need to microwave it for 30s to melt it.

3. Mix with mayonnaise and olive oil. I went heavy on the pepper, but didn't need to put any salt because its was salty enough with the infused chicken-stock and the other ingredients.

4. I don't have a steamer, so I boiled some water, and put the frozen peas in a cup, then put the cup inside the pot and let it steam internally. It's done when the water finishes boiling.

5. Mix in the peas and cranberries. Should look like a festive Christmasy feast!

If you want a creamier version, you can add in more butter or cream cheese.

Crabby Meal

Ta-da! Here it is! 

The crab cakes turned out a little too lemony. It could have used some more flavor like teriyaki or hoisin sauce. The mashed potatoes too could have done better with some more butter. I guess it's a calorie/flavour trade-off.

We made four crab cakes and a bowl of this mashed delight, which was enough for dinner and lunch for the next day.

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