Late Sunday afternoon I typically sit down with the pile of recipes I've clipped and a cookbook or two and try to come up with the week's menus. The goal is to have at least half new dishes. For example, this week we're having a honey lemon chicken from Rachael Ray's latest magazine, a pea and parsley pesto sauce for linguine and a mustard roasted fish from Ina Garten's Back to Basics. Then, Connie heads to the grocery store while I start Sunday's supper.
We had leftover crab cakes from Saturday evening so they were repurposed into crab benedicts on Sunday evening. Growing up, crab cakes were not one of my favorites. They were gooey with filler and lacking real crab flavor. Then, about seven or eight years ago, I had some at Sangiovese that were incredible. Just enough filler to hold the crabmeat together. Bursting with flavor. That set me on a quest to find my own fabulous crabcake recipe. I even bought a cookbook of 50 crab cake recipes. Believe it or not, the best recipe I've found is from Harry Caray's Restaurant Cookbook. Yup, a Chicago restaurant. Jane and Michael Stern are known for their cookbooks highlighting well-known restaurants. They were Guy Fieri before Guy was Guy!
In November of 2005 I sprang for a can of crabmeat from the fish store across the street from the office. Pulled every cookbook that I thought might have a crab cake recipe. This was the one that sounded best so I made it and fell in love with these crab cakes. Three notes, the fish store is long gone so I now get my crabmeat at Trader Joe's. It's relatively reasonably priced there. Yes, I've modified the recipe a bit. And, these crab cakes are awesome as an appetizer. I've made them for the annual holiday party. Takes forever to make dozens of tiny patties and brown them but they're worth it.
1 lb can crab meat, flaked
1/4 c finely diced red onion
2 finely diced shallots (I buy the dried ones at Penzeys)
3/4 c Panko
1/3 c half and half (cream if you really want to cheat)
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t Tabasco
1 t Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t granulated garlic
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c flour
Mix everything together except for the flour and olive oil. The best way is to use your hands and gently toss it all together. Heat the olive oil in a skillet until a couple of drops of water sizzle. You'll want to just coat the bottom of the skillet. This recipe makes six big crab cakes. Form the crab cakes then lightly coat them with flour and brown them in the sizzling oil. They're awesome served with Remoulade Sauce.
1 c mayonnaise (Hellmans made with olive oil)
2 T capers
2 T finely diced red onion
2 T Dijon mustard
1/2 t Old Bay seasoning
1/4 t paprika
1/4 t Worcestershire
1/4 t Tabasco
1/2 t lemon juice
Combine and serve.
Now for the leftovers. Our joke in the morning is to ask the one who got up first, "Where's my Eggs Benedict?" I'd intended to actually surprise Connie with Crab Benedict on Sunday morning but we wound up heading to the office early instead. So, I made them for him Sunday evening.
2 whole grain english muffins, split and toasted
2 crab cakes, warmed and split in half
4 eggs, poached
Stack a muffin half, then a crab cake half, then a poached egg and top with Hollanade Sauce. What is Hollanade sauce, you ask? Eggs Benedict is traditionally served with Hollandaise Sauce. We had leftover Remoulade Sauce. Around here, leftovers can take on new identities! So, I made a packet of Hollandaise sauce (I know, homemade is much better but I knew the mix would be less likely to separate and would therefore work better) and mixed it with the leftover Remoulade sauce (about 1/2 c was leftover.)
I may never go back to Eggs Benedict again. The flavors played so well together!