Wednesday night, I invited two very old friends, Tom the painter, and his daughter, Cathy, the lawyer, to dinner. What to serve? Well, one issue is, Cathy is lactose intolerant. So cheese, cream, milk, all those mainstays of my cooking, were out. However, she said she liked fish. So, since my shellfish intolerant husband was back in DC, this provided an excellent opportunity to serve shellfish. Also, it was hot, so I didn't want to turn on the oven. I also didn't want to get involved with oysters, since there's no R in July, nor did I want to deal with lobsters. So, crab cakes it was.
I also had the cabbage issue, so I looked for a recipe with cabbage. We ended up with an excellent summer menu, crab cakes and a Midwestern, mayonnaiseless cole slaw and talked until after 11. In DC, everyone leaves around 10 so this party was a huge success. Tom brought a bottle of champagne, and since Cathy doesn't really like wine, he and I drank almost the whole thing. I got to demonstrate the cork popping technique that I have used to send champagne corks rattling onto garage roofs in the ghetto, onto neighbors' lawns in my neighborhood, and into the street when Obama won the 2008 election. This time the cork went into the high grass that surrounds the apartment.
Coos Bay Crab Cakes
1 pound crab meat, picked over to remove bits of shell and cartilage
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish ( I left this out, feeling that the amount of vacation spices piling up on the counter was getting unmanageable.)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup crushed cracker crumbs
butter,( or in this case, margarine)
1. Mix together the crab meat, eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, salt, pepper, Worcestershire and one half cup of the crumbs.
2. Form the mixture into eight cakes. Coat with remaining crumbs.
3. Heat butter (margarine) to a depth of one-eighth inch in a heavy skillet. Add the crab cakes and fry until lightly browned on both sides.
Makes four servings.