Quite early into our dating relationship, Matt and I discovered that we are both cat people, so when things turned serious, it pretty much went without saying that we would be adopting cats at the first opportunity. That opportunity came shortly after we got married. One weekend we ventured to a wonderful no-kill shelter and brought home two six-month-old male tuxedo kitties. At this point I should tell you that I have an undergrad in biology and Matt is a chemist for a pharmaceutical company. So we named our cats after the scientists who discovered DNA: Watson and Crick.
A year and a half later, we got their crystallographer, Rosalind Franklin.
At first we said we would be good cat parents and not feed them any people food. This rule lasted a few months, until I accidentally dropped a piece of raw chicken on the kitchen floor, one of the cats immediately snapped it up, and from that point on, it was all over. The begging in earnest began, any time either of us is in the kitchen.
We’ve been rather indulgent over the years; as a result, Watson and Crick have developed quite sophisticated and frankly, quite snooty, palates. (Rosalind is one of those odd cats who doesn’t care for people food). But the boys have literally gotten to where they will only eat squid, lobster, crab, and imported cured pork products. They turn their nose up at everything else. I wish I was kidding.
They really love their crabmeat, and they get very
loud and demanding excited when I make crab cakes, because it means that after I sift the meat for cartilage, they get to eat the scraps and flecks of meat left on the plate. And they lick it clean. As in, literally licking-the-plate-across-the-floor clean, which is why I had to switch to a plastic plate for sifting the crabmeat. Ceramic plates make a horrid screeching sound when being pushed across a tiled floor. *shudder*
So I guess you could say my entire family enjoyed this meal! I made these last week while still on my New Orleans vacation high, thus why they are Cajun. 🙂 We did love them. Despite being Cajun, they are not too spicy, although the jalapeno tartar sauce made up for it aplenty. Omit the chiles if you want it milder.
Source: adapted from Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook
JALAPENO TARTAR SAUCE:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced dill pickles
2 tbs capers, plus 3/4 tsp of their juice
2 tbs diced poblano chile
2 tbs diced red onion
1 tbs diced jalapeno, with seeds
1 tbs sweet pickle relish
1 tbs hot sauce
1 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
1 medium red bell pepper, diced fine
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 scallions, sliced thin
Juice of 1/4 a lemon
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbs unsalted butter
JALAPENO TARTAR SAUCE:
In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate, covered, until needed. This will make about 2 cups as written.
In a large bowl, combine the crabmeat, bell pepper, mayonnaise, panko, scallions, lemon juice, hot sauce, and Creole seasoning, being careful not to break up the crabmeat too much. Using a round biscuit cutter that is 2 1/2 inches in diameter, fill the cutter with the crab mixture and form into 8 cakes. Place the cakes on plates and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour to help set.
Combine the flour, salt and black pepper on a plate. Lightly dust both sides of the cakes in the seasoned flour. Gently tap off the excess.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tbs butter over medium to medium-high heat. When the skillet is nice and hot, add 4 crab cakes and cook about 2 minutes each side, until evenly browned and crisped on the bottom. Adjust the heat as necessary – you don’t want them burned, but you do want a golden brown crust. Remove the first batch of cakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining 4 cakes.
Serve 2 cakes per person with the tartar sauce on the side.