Hooray for Fish Friday!
First, a word about Fish Friday. We started this initiative almost a year ago because we always said we wanted to eat more fish, but we never did. We are lucky enough to have a fantastic fishmonger in our neighbourhood called– wait for it– The Fishmonger. Those happy readers living in London, especially southeast London, should buy all their fish from there because they’re great.
Fish Friday is now firmly in our dinner rotation. There is, of course, the odd week when we can’t do it for one reason or another, but for the most part, we do it. The other good thing about doing it every week is it forces you to expand your fish horizons, because really, who wants to eat salmon every week? Lucky for me, they couldn’t be more helpful at the fishmongers when it comes to selecting fish. Usually, I have to get something specific, but if they don’t have it, they recommend a good alternative. As a bonus, they also filet the fish for me because goodness knows I couldn’t do it.
So for this week’s Fish Friday, I decided to make crab cakes, a firm favourite whenever I’m near the coast in the U.S. Funnily enough, the inspiration for this recipe is American, so it must have been something in my Yankee DNA that inspired my choice. The fishmonger had fresh canned crab, which seems an oxymoron, but really does exist. (It’s fresh in that it’s imperative to keep the can in the refrigerator, even unopened.)
Given that the crab meat had already been taken care of for me, this recipe was a breeze to make and highly recommended. Everyone loved them.
The mayonnaise didn’t work out nearly so well, but I’m pretty sure that was down to operator error. I should have stopped added the oil when I saw that the ingredients had emulsified in the food processor. Instead, I was so impressed with myself that I could make mayonnaise, I kept thinking, “Wow. I did this!” rather than taking a moment to realise it was done and stopping. It might also have been the heat, but I’m pretty sure it was me.
So two recommendations for me today: this recipe (found after the jump) and also to start a Fish Friday (or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday) in your house. Once you start, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Crab Cakes with Fresh Citrus-Tomato Mayonnaise from “Home Made Summer”
For the crab cakes
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
About 6 oz (175 g) fresh crab meat, or 1 small can, drtained
1 3/4 cups (200 g) bread crumbs
1/2 cup (125 ml) creme fraice
a few fresh chives, minced
a few fresh basil leaves, minced
1 large egg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
light oil for frying
For the mayonnaise
1 large egg yok
Juice of 1 lemon, or 2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp strong prepared mustard
About 2 cups (500 ml) sunflower or corn oil
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp paprika, preferably s,pled
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the crab cakes:
In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onion and celery for about 4 minutes, until translucent. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Flake the crab meat into a bowl and add the cooled onion and celery, half the bread crumbs, the creme fraiche, chives, basil and egg, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Shape the mixture into about 8 little balls. Slightly flatten them and coat the patties all over with the remaining bread crumbs.
In a nonstick saute pan, heat some oil over medium heat Fry the patties for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown on both sides. Let them drain on a paper towel.
Make the mayonnaise:
In a food processor, combine the egg yolk, lemon juice and mustard and process until foamy. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a very thin trickle until the mixture becomes a thick mayonnaise. By hand, stir in the tomatoes and paprika and season with salt and pepper Serve with the crab cakes.