Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Recipe# 57 & 58 -Stirring the Pot: Crab Cakes and Zucchini Crab Fritters
Working my way through Tyler's Stirring the Pot has presented different challenges along the way. Now that I'm more than halfway through the book, one of the biggest challenges has been sourcing some of the more "specialty" items. I suspect this was the reason why I never made them in the first place. It wasn't that Lobster Cakes with Lemon Aioli and Bacon Frisee Salad didn't sound good or that I feared no one would like Zucchini Crab Fritters with Grapefruit Aioli. It was simply because I never found fresh lobster and never ran across fresh crab that looked good enough to use.
When Crab Tater Tots came due for Symon Sundays I knew it was time to get serious and get my hands on some crab. I hightailed it to the city, going to 3 specialty stores, and only found two cans of pasteurized crab in all my searches. One can contained one pound of lump crab meat, $26.99 and the other can contained one pound of claw meat, $8.99. The lump crab meat is ideal, but since I was going to be frying most of my recipes, I opted for the can of claw meat. Eager to make the most of my crab, I spread it out and made three crab recipes. The first recipe was Symon's Crab Tater Tots, the second was Tyler's Zucchini Crab Fritters, and the third was Tyler's Lobster Cakes, which I had to turn into crab cakes simply because I don't think I'll ever find fresh lobster anywhere around here.
Let's talk about these tasty little morsels known as Zucchini Crab Fritters with Grapefruit Aioli. Well worth getting out the deep fryer, these are a real treat! First, zucchini is sliced thinly with a powerfully sharp mandoline. The thinly sliced zucchini is salted and set aside so that they moisture is drawn out and the slices become pliable. Crab is mixed with egg white and seasoned simply with salt and pepper. A spoonful of crab is placed on one end of each zucchini slice and rolled up, starting with the end that has the crab meat. Each zucchini fritter is rolled in flour, dipped in egg, and finished in panko. Tyler always advises to let your coated items set aside in the refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes. He says that this added step helps the coating to set up. I use this tip constantly, applying it to all coatings, and have had lots of success with it.
After resting, the fritters are ready to be fried for 3-4 minutes and dipped in a delicious grapefruit aioli. Everyone loved these fritters, including my husband who isn't the biggest fan of crab. We ate them up in record time!
Saving the best for last are these fabulous Lobster turned Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli and Bacon Frisee Salad. (NOTE: In all my travels I didn't find frisee either, so I used a mix of field greens) The crab cakes were very simple and delicately flavored with sliced white bread, egg white and mayo. Panfried until crisp, they were served with the most delicious and bacony salad and an equally delicious and complimentary lemon aioli. I found this recipe to be my favorite of all three crab recipes.
Although I would've enjoyed having fresh crab, the pasteurized canned claw meat worked well in all three applications. I would buy it again if I couldn't find fresh.
Both recipes can be found on Tyler's blog, or by clicking on the links below:
Zucchini Crab Fritters with Grapefruit Aioli
Lobster/Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli and Bacon Frisee Salad
I'm submitting my Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli and Bacon Frisee Salad to Beth at The Seventh Level of Boredom for The Bacon Games, a very tasty and promising new foodie adventure.