Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Game Day Food!

What do you get when you cross 1 ½ pounds of lump crab meat with other fresh ingredients that taste incredible with a glass of beer? Great food for the Big Game, that’s what. Sautéed Crab Cakes with Three Sauces are just the thing when you have an excited crowd—that’s why they’re also perfect for the New Year countdown. That’s me in the photo with a tray of ‘em in honor of the 2012 ball drop. Pair these puppies with anything effervescent (like your favorite IPA or glass of champagne) and you have the freshest of appys that make that bag of Cheetos look…well…sad! While it might be argued that ripping into those chips is so much easier, I gotta tell you that there’s nothing to get crabby about making my appetizer: these crab cakes are beyond easy! You can form the patties before Kick-off and sauté them in plenty of time for a half-time treat. The secret is to gently mix and form the cakes, taking care to chill them before they go into the frying pan.

It’s Just Mayonnaise

Here’s what you foodies will like about these crab cakes and accompanying sauces: they encourage you to experiment with toppers, not in the least bit reserved for melt-in-your mouth crab cakes. Once you taste my Remoulade and lemon aioli, you’ll want to top your burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches with them too. I remember, back in my uninitiated days as a cook and caterer (I won’t say when, just that it was a very long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away), I was amazed to learn that there is absolutely nothing intimidating about aioli. It’s just mayonnaise, folks. What’s funny is how tarred and feathered the Iron Chefs are if they dare “bring out the Hellman’s”. Uh-uh. You have to whip up your own! Then again when my friend and fellow home chefs discover how easy it is to make their own mayo..ahem…”aioli” they may never stand before a shelf of 50 different types of jarred mayo at the grocery store again. The same goes for the ease of making your own tartar sauce—all you need is a food processor.

A Word on Remoulade

Knowing how to prepare this sauce will make you feel like a graduate of Child’s Art of French Cooking. It’s a perfect storm, really—kind of like mayonnaise and tartar got married. Adding pickles or dill is what gives it its distinctness. Just like the other 2 sauces I’ve talked about today, it’s a great condiment to go with Buffalo wings while you’re rooting for your favorite team.

The Stuff the EXTREME PARTY PLANNER’s Crab Cakes Are Made Of!

When you go crab meat shopping, here’s what to look for… if you want to be EXTREME about it and pull out all the stops. I know it’s a bit of a splurge, but the description of blue crab meat by the pound will start to burn a hole in the most reluctant of pockets. Yes, my friend, blue jumbo crab meat, taken from the hind leg, produces the largest chunks you can get from this divine brand of seafood. It may set you back 2 crisp $20s per pound, but it’ll get the fans crowding around your TV set and establish your reputation as the ultimate sports host. And the guy who served that bowl of Cheetos?? Well, he’s been reduced to a photo pinned to your next game of darts!

Chow down, Football fans!
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