Summertime is the peak time for harvesting avocados, and by the end of the week everyone is tired. As much as we would enjoy going out for a special meal, we usually need to stay near the ranch so The Farmer can continue irrigating the trees. One way to perk everyone up at the end of a long day is to have something they weren’t expecting for supper. Crab cakes! Want to hear, “Oh wow!” when the family comes in to eat? Just make up some of these tasty little crab cakes. They’re easy too. Trust me.
I’m not going to pretend that I came up with this recipe. What I will do is share my secret. Can you say “Chicken of the Sea”? No, it’s not chicken and it’s not tuna either…it’s crab meat!
The recipe? Just pick up the can and turn it around. What could be easier than that? So now you know…I just keep a can of crab meat in the refrigerator and when we feel like having a special supper, it takes only a few minutes to put together plenty of crab cake deliciousness. Serve crab cakes as an appetizer, on a salad, and be sure they are topped with avocado slices. We’ve enjoyed them with guacamole on top too!
Start with one beaten egg. Add 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (I use dijon), 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (I use Old Bay), 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and some hot sauce if you like it. Stir all of those ingredients together until the color is consistent. Then fold in all the crab meat and 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs. Sometimes I use herbed bread crumbs, but be careful with strongly seasoned bread crumbs or the crab cakes can be too salty.
You can form the crab cakes by hand, but a lot of the meat sticks to my fingers, so now I mound it up in a tablespoon and shape it into a ball. Then I drop the crab “balls” into a hot buttered skillet. Let them brown on one side, then turn and flatten a bit with a spatula. Turn down the heat so that they can cook through without burning.
The sauce? I stir up 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of catsup and creamed horseradish to taste. That’s it!
It’s fun to use avocado slices to decorate the crab cakes! Feeding a crowd? Make a big salad and top each serving with a crab cake and plenty of California avocado! When there are just a few of us, we enjoy the crab cakes all by themselves with avocado… making an ordinary supper into a feast!
I’ll be spending several weeks with my mother in Vermont, so I’ll be sharing some of the gorgeous scenery from my home state. Even though I’ve been living on the avocado ranch in California for over 30 years, Vermont still feels like home to me. I’m a Green Mountain girl, for sure!
How about you? What do you serve when you want to have a special supper during your busiest times? What ingredients remind you of your childhood home?