Well. Here we are, in 2014. How did this happen? Last year was amazing, full of love, loss, triumph, stress, family, laughter and everything that makes us real and makes life worth living. As usual, we celebrate & survive all of the above with great food. This year went out as it arrived- on a bullet train- a blur of toddler, house, fun and craziness....so, we decided to celebrate the blessing of our new home by having our dear friends and their son over for a quiet dinner, some Cards Against Humanity and a toast at 9pm (East Coast New Year style).
Of course the boy decided that naps are overrated on the 31st seriously cutting into my dinner making prep time- but because I'm a mom who knows to always expect the unexpected, I had planned a super easy menu that really only took a short time to throw together some major deliciousness.
We had a variety of cheeses, crackers, quince paste & fig jam to start- along with Trader Joe's goat cheese & caramelized onion puffs. Then after the bedtime routine commenced and my little angel was tucked in and dreaming, the grown-ups dined on arugula salad with almonds, goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes & avocado, Crab/Corn Bisque, artichokes,and these scrumptious crab cakes.
Because I've made the soup many, many, many times I knew I'd have some leftover crab- so when I went to Trader Joe's I bought 1 of the large (16oz) crab claws and 1 of the 8oz lump meat containers (in the refrigerator section between the meat and cheese).
Here is what you need for these show-stopper crab cakes & garlic dippin sauce:
Crab (16oz total- I used a mix of claw and lump)
2 sleeves of Butter round crackers (like TJ's version of a Ritz)- CRUSHED to smithereens
4 green onions, minced
Juice from 2 lemons (I used home grown lemons from our tree- they are petite so it took more than 2, but if you are using store-bought 2 regular size lemons will do the trick- buy 3 though- I used some for steaming the artichokes and the juice of 1/2 a lemon for the dippin sauce)
Mayo- about 4-5 spoon fulls for the crab cakes, and then about a cup for the dippin sauce (see below)
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
pinch of salt
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
(THEN, for cooking):
butter & olive oil
Mayo (about a cup)
garlic (2-3 cloves, super finely minced)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
a few dots of Siracha hot sauce, you can always add more right before serving- go easy, it's powerful!
In a large bowl combine the crab, crushed butter crackers, minced green onion, lemon juice, mayo, Old Bay, lemon pepper, salt, & pepper flakes- mix well till all ingredients are completely intergrated.
Form crab cakes- we made about 8 cakes about 3 inches in diameter- for cocktail sized cakes this recipe will make 16-20.
Lay on a baking sheet covered in wax paper, cover and refrigerate at least a hour, or till ready to cook.
Make dippin sauce:
in a small bowl combine mayo, minced garlic, lemon juice and siracha- stir, cover & refrigerate 1 hour to overnight for flavors to get really well married.
When ready to cook- in a large skillet, heat 2 table spoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat, coat each cake in a 50/50 mix of bread crumbs and Parmesan and pan-fry about 5 minutes per side/ till golden brown. Serve with fresh avocado & yummy dippin sauce!
Wishing you all the best for this New Year~ Happy 2014~