For my first official cookbook club recipe I wanted to pick something easy; something that would be tasty and I could not mess up ….. Well I picked the wrong recipe! I have to say that I attempted the hardest, most exhausting recipe I have ever tried! I wanted to make the crab cakes; I mean they looked so yummy in the picture!
The recipe preparation itself wasn’t all that difficult. I mean there were a lot of ingredients but nothing that was difficult or time consuming to prepare. The part that got me was the frying. I have fried things before so I was familiar with the challenges of frying things. If however you try this recipe and have never southern fried anything (like real southern fried, as in a family recipe from Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, or the Carolinas) then this will be a disaster. This is not the recipe to learn how to fry food. My problem was that the recipe said to make the crap cakes into bite size portions….well if I did that and left them in for the amount of time that the recipe called for then they charred, but if I made them any larger then they fell apart when I tried to flip them and ended up burning anyway. So I’m not sure how Ina thought that the recipe would make 26….I certainly did not get 26. It is possible that I had a hard time frying because of the various modifications that I made to the ingredients (see below). I feel like I might have to attempt this recipe again now that I know what to expect. I mean mine weren’t so bad because they were all still eaten in about 30 minutes….but I know that I can do better.
Tips for others doing this recipe….light a candle before you start because the smell of frying lingers and remember that hot grease jumps (wear long sleeves). The recipe says that the vegetables should be diced small. Do not overlook this step, take the time to make sure they’re small; you’ll be glad that you did. I was trying to be cost efficient with the crab meat. I checked to see about how much 8oz of fresh premium crab meat would be and then looked around for other deals. I checked out everything from frozen crab meat to caned and pouched crab meat. If I had bought frozen or canned I would have had to get numerous packages to get up to 8 0z which in the long run would have been more expensive than if I had just bought it fresh. So I went with the fresh crab meat.
All of the recipe ingredients
My crab cake recipe variations:
-I used regular table salt and pepper instead of kosher and freshly ground
-I used 3 tsp of dried parsley instead of fresh
-I added extra old bay to the crab mixture before adding the vegetables
-I used EVOO instead of olive oil
-In the recipe it called for “good mayo”. To me that’s an oxymoron; is there such a thing as “good mayo”? And if there is, does the “good” refer to the taste or the health component (because I’m certain that I have never experience “yummy” or “healthy” mayo)? Needless to say since I couldn’t figure this out, I just used what we had, regular mayo and I don’t think it affected the flavor at all.
My remoulade sauce recipe variations:
-This recipe also called for “good mayo”, but I reduced the amount of mayo because it looked like way too much. In fact I think less mayo improved the flavor.
-I used drained dill relish instead of diced pickles
-I added a bit of old bay seasoning to help it match the crab cakes.