“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” - Helen Keller
Two of my favorite people in the world are coming to my home for the weekend.
Michele and Barb are staying with me. Though these two woman are not related to me by blood, they are affectionately and respectfully called Aunt by my children.
We are celebrating our 30th. year of friendship. Ours is a sisterly bond that has witnessed the joys, sorrows, successes and failures that a lifetime, any lifetime, goes through. And through it all we have laughed, cried, stomped our feet, raised our glasses and danced to each other's music.
As with any guest in my home I asked both Michele and Barb what they would like to eat and do over the course of 2 days. Michele requested my (as of this moment) World Famous Crab Cakes. Barb requested cocktails in the hot tub on Saturday night. I'm happy that I can accommodate both requests.
Living just outside New York City has its advantages when it comes to interesting things to do and see. I'll fill you in on our weekend escapades later, but for now:
The Good Cook's Crab Cakes (makes 6 large patties or 12 small - serves 4 - 6 people)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for frying
2 large shallots, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 pound lump crab, pick it over to remove any shells
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon thyme, minced
1 good pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Melt butter saute pan and add shallots and celery. Saute on low until just soft. Remove from heat, cool and add to crab. Add parsley, thyme, pepper flakes and lemon juice. Toss with hands to combine. Be gentle. You want to keep that Lump Crab Meat lumpy.
In a small bowl whisk together the mayo and egg. Add to the crab mixture. Add 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs. Gently combine.
In a pie plate, place fine bread crumbs. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
Scoop up a bunch of crab mixture and make a pattie, keeping it more round than flat - about the size of a tennis ball. Coat with fine bread crumbs and place on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining crab until done.
Refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to cook.
In a large skillet heat enough butter and oil (1 part butter to 2 parts oil) to cover the bottom of the pan. When the fat is sizzling, carefully add the crab cakes, one at a time. Don't crowd them. Work in batches if need be. Flatten slightly with your spatula. Cook until golden brown on one side, then turn over and brown the other side (about 3 minutes per side). Serve with a lemon wedge and tartar sauce or a lovely lemon aioli.
Eat these with very close friends while making memories.
A Cook's Notes: Life can't always be about diets. Everyone needs a little fat with the lean, this recipe is one of my favorite ways to get it. I serve these with a simple salad and a nice crusty roll. Add a bottle of your favorite wine and you have a very special meal. Bon Appetite!