Crab Cakes

I hate when I defrost a package of something and only use half of it in a dish – leaving me with extra food that I hadn’t planned on using. I can’t toss it back in the freezer. I don’t want to make more of the same thing I just made. That was the predicament I was in the other day.

I had unintentionally defrosted a whole package of the imitation crab meat – of the lump meat variety. I usually divide the pouch in to recipe-size packages when I buy it, but didn’t get a chance to this time around. I had used some of it this weekend in my mock crab rangoon.  I was left with 3/4 of a package though.

I often make fish cakes – usually salmon. Today, I decided to try making a kosher crab cake. I know it’s not going to be the same as the real thing, but I figured that I could still make something tasty. It would be a quick dinner item to go with a salad and some steamed veggies.  These “crab” cakes did not disappoint.

Kosher Crab Cakes

1 package of the imitation crab meat or 1 pound lump crab meat, chopped well (I used 3/4)
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
2 large eggs
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1.5 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp. horseradish sauce
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1.5 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. old bay seasoning
fresh ground pepper
1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil for pan frying

Mix everything in  bowl.

Form in to patties.

Let the patties sit for a few minutes to set.

Pan fry in oil on each side until lightly browned. Keep in mind that the fish is fully cooked already.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve with steamed or sauteed veggies and a salad. We like this with a horseradish remoulade sauce.



Mock Crab Rangoon

This recipe came about on Sukkot, but I finally made it when I could photograph and write about it.

At least one of our sukkot meals during yom tov tends to be something pretty casual. Sometimes it’s omelettes, sometimes an easy salad. It always includes something warm. It’s usually comfort food that works well for when it’s just us. Except this year, we didn’t have any “just us” meals. We had to play up the casual meal a bit.
J suggested we do a fried bar food fest. It got a bunch of us talking and reminiscing about all that good bad-for-you food that we love, that we don’t eat anymore now that we are kosher. Some of it just is never available as good at kosher restaurants. It’s hard to find the right onions rings, and hot poppers. Don’t tell me that Dougies is a good stand-in. That place stinks. Anyhow, I wanted this meal to be dairy.

The conversation came around to crab rangoon and cream cheese wontons. The wontons are totally a Midwestern thing. I have never seen them on an east coast menu  – treife or otherwise. Whenever we used to eat out at LeeAnn Chinn’s in the Twin Cities, these wontons were always ordered. My yom tov guests also brought up crab rangoon – which I have never had due to the whole crab thing.  We kept kosher in the house growing up, and my mom has a seafood allergy. Crab was verboten. Anyhow, crab rangoon is basically a cream cheese wonton with crab added to it.

I decided to make it. I always have surimi (mock crab) and cream cheese around. I happened to have some wonton wrappers in the freezer. So this worked out. Was easy to make and was a big hit with everyone.
Mock Crab Rangoon

1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese – softened at room temperature
5 sticks of surimi, chopped up (approximately – use more or less depending on how crabby you like it)
2 tsp. lemon pepper grinded
3 scallions, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 package of wonton wrappers

vegetable oil for frying

In a small bowl, mix up the cream cheese, crab, scallions, and spices.
Take a wonton wrapper and plop a teaspoon of the mixture in to the center of the wrapper.
Fold up the wonton. Here are some good wonton folding instructions. You will get the hang of folding after you screw up a few.

Heat up a pan with some vegetable oil. I don’t like to deep fry, but you could if you like. I use about a 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of oil in the pan.
Once the oil is hot, add the wontons carefully to the pan. Fry until lightly brown on one side and then flip. It’s about 2 minutes a side.
Drain on paper towels. 
Dig in! It’s especially good when dipped into a hot and sweet chili sauce.
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