Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Crab Cakes with Mango-Pineapple Salsa

Crab Cakes with Mango-Pineapple Salsa for a Special Birthday!

It's a busy time. May and early June compete with December for the busiest months of the year. If you're entertaining, especially for a brunch, luncheon, or even a lazy Saturday morning get together, I have three recipes you're going to love. This menu would also be perfect for a bridal shower, a graduation celebration--just about any special event.

These are two of my favorite recipes, with a dessert thrown in for good measure. I first made the crab cakes for a special friend's birthday celebration. We combined some of our favorite mild flavors with the crab meat, and left out all the ingredients we don't like in most restaurant crab cakes. I've never understood why Old Bay seasoning and red and green peppers are added to crab meat—a mild, delicately flavored meat that is easily over-powered. And frankly, the salsa combination may be the best blend of flavors I've ever tasted. It compliments the crab cakes perfectly.

Next up: Pimento Cheese Rolls and Fresh Fruit Tarts!

Crab Cakes

(makes 10 large crab cakes or 20 appetizer size)

1 lb. lump crabmeat

1 large egg

one-half tsp. salt

one-fourth tsp. pepper

3 T mayonnaise

1 T grated fresh ginger

3 scallions, finely chopped

one-half cup finely chopped jicama or firm Asian pear, peeled

three-fourths cup small toasted pecan pieces

2 cups breadcrumbs, divided

Peanut oil

Lightly beat egg with salt and pepper. Mix in the mayonnaise. Add ginger, scallions, jicama and pecans. Gently fold in crabmeat and half of the breadcrumbs.

Firmly form into cakes (about one-half cup each), and lightly bread each one with remaining breadcrumbs.

Place crab cakes on covered sheet pan in refrigerator until ready to fry.

Pour about 1 inch of peanut oil into deep sided heavy skillet over medium high heat. Fry crab cakes without crowding in two or three batches for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown, turning once. (Fry until firmly browned on bottom, then carefully turn.)

Serve with Pineapple Mango Salsa.

Pineapple Mango Salsa

1 mango peeled and diced

Equal amount of diced fresh pineapple

Juice and zest of 2 limes

2 T finely chopped cilantro

3 T orange marmalade

Mix all ingredients together in food processor. Pulse several times, but leave little solid pieces of fruit. Cover and chill.

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