Fact. Crab meat is expensive. I bought two 100g tubs of it in ‘The Fish Shop’ in Schull today at 4 euro 40 cent each. That works out at 44 euro for a kilo of the stuff which is almost on a par with fillet steak. That would explain why it features in a cake form on so many menus being stretched with potato to fill it out. This recipe therefore is getting filed away in the Dinner Party category to be pulled out for special occasions.
Make them in miniature as party bites or starters, or serve a large one with the salsa as a substantial lunch. The recipe for both of these dishes is based on those demonstrated by Greenes restaurant Cork at this year’s Cork Summer Show. I hadn’t written down exact quantities for either and also had to improvise on some of the ingredients i.e. white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar, Derrycamma Farm Rapeseed Oil With Chilli instead of sesame oil.
The salsa is vibrant, fruity, fragrant and piquant. Piquant? Where did that come from? When I am writing, words sometimes pop into my head, words that I have never ever spoken, like piquant, and I have to then look them up and invariably go yeah, that’s a perfect word, still clueless as to where it came from.
(FYI, when I googled it this was the definition I got “agreeably pungent or sharp in taste or flavor; pleasantly biting or tart: “.)
This salsa would work just as well as a side dish with bbq’d meats as with fish.
(This makes a salad bowl full of salsa)
Sweet Chilli & Pineapple Salsa
You will need:
3 different coloured peppers
1 red onion
2 red chillies
large bunch fresh coriander
2 tbsp olive oil (or 1tbsp olive oil & 1 tbsp sesame oil)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Juice of 3 limes
Finely cube the pineapple and peppers and mix in a bowl.
Finely chop the deseeded chillies and the red onion and add to the bowl.
Roughly chop the fresh coriander and add.
Make up the dressing in a cup or bowl mixing the oil, vinegar, chilli sauce & lime juice. Taste and adjust the sweetness (more chilli sauce) or sharpness (more vinegar) to your taste. Add to the bowl and mix well.
When it came to making the crab-cakes breadcrumbs were required. I ended up with these super healthy breadcrumbs because I had to use up the stoneground wholemeal bread that I had messed up in the shop. WARNING: When you see a sign in the shop that reads ‘Do not put warm bread in the slicer’ pay heed to the sign and do not ignore it. The warm bread half disintegrated as I sliced it, so I packaged it up and approached the checkout thinking that the assistant might take pity on me and not charge me for this self-made messed up bag of semi crumbled scrumptiousness. But charge me she did, and rightly so, they’ve had enough of my type through the doors now me-thinks and lesson learned, I shall not be putting warm bread in the slicer in future.
The breadcrumbs were made from a mixture of stale baguette and aforementioned stoneground wholemeal bread.
(Makes 4 large crab-cakes)
You will need:
200g crab meat
600g potato (4 or 5 medium sized)
2 spring onions
80 ml fresh cream for mashing
Olive oil or sunflower oil for frying
Pre-heat the fan oven to 180C Gas Mark 6
Peel and boil the potatoes
Mash the potatoes with cream, then add in the chopped spring onions and the crab-meat and mix well.
Place the flour into one bowl, the beaten eggs into another and the breadcrumbs into a third bowl or large plate.
Wet your hands slightly and shape the crab-meat mixture into 4 round cakes/patties.
Heat a pan on the hob with a generous amount of oil over a medium to high heat.
Dip each crab-cake in flour, then in egg and then in the breadcrumbs coating them well and then place in the hot pan.
Cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden in colour.
Place the crab-cakes on a baking tray and finish cooking them in the hot oven for another 10-15 minutes until heated through.
Serve with the Sweet Chilli & Pineapple Salsa.
Til next time, Sheila.