Sunday, January 27, 2013
Risotto Crab Cakes
Once or twice a month, Paul and I make the great trek to Surdyks in Minneapolis (it requires crossing the Mississippi - something people in the Twin Cities are sometimes loathe to do). It is my go-to place for fresh ricotta (for spoon-feeding myself), mortadella with pistachios, fun pastas (otherwise known as "artisanal pasta") and whatever else strikes our fancy. Last week some risotto-crab cakes struck our fancy. Inexplicably last week, we had some fresh crab leftover. That doesn't happen often. But I knew what I wanted to do with it.
I came across a recipe for risotto crab cakes here and played with the recipe. It says to use your leftover risotto and I have never had leftover risotto. But who am I to judge? I've never had leftover crab either. (This would be equally good with your leftover lobster if there is such a thing.)
It's the end of January. It's been a dark day of sleet and snow. I think carbohydrate meals were created in January. These are certainly an appetizer but my sister and I could make a meal out of it. I had both kids home and so I continued my double-dipping of carbs - serving it with pasta and shrimp. To be sure there was also broccoli so we were not nutrient-starved. I could hold up my semi-virtuous head.
I love that these are crabby. In fact next time I will probably use less risotto and make them crabbier. Use fresh crab (I used snow crab clusters - use what you can find) or some good canned crab. Play with the amounts - if you want to use one cup of risotto and two cups of crab - go for it. Use all olive oil or butter for the sauteing or just bake them (I drained them on a paper towel and then threw them in the oven).
Ingredients - makes 8 fairly large crab cakes or 12 smaller ones
2 cups risotto
1-2 cups of crab meat
2 tablespoons of scallions, chives, or favorite herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
A primer on "How to make risotto" can be found here. It just adding hot broth and stirring. It's perfect for people who like to get into a zen state sometime during the day.
In a medium-large bowl combine risotto, crab and scallions (or herbs). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cover a flat plate with a thin layer of corneal.
Form your mixture into 8-12 balls and flatten slightly. Put them in the dish with cornmeal and press them down. Turn over and do the same. You do not need to coat the sides.
In a large skillet heat the butter and olive oil. When hot, add your crab cakes and cook about 3 minutes per side (until lightly browned on both sides). (Add about 4-6 at a time so as not to crowd). Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately or rewarm in a low oven until heated through.
Serve with an aioli or creme fraiche. It's January. Indulge. A shorter winter month is on its way.