It’s February again, the middle of winter, the time of year we Salt Springers like to boast about our gorgeous weather and how grateful we are to not live anywhere else in Canada. While the rest of Canada deals with snow and sub-zero temperatures, here it feels like Spring is in the air and we know it’s close because the daffodils and tulips are pushing through.
One of the many wonderful things about living on the west coast is the abundance of local food available year round, there may not be much in the garden right now, but there are crabs in the ocean, and the chickens are still laying eggs, so why not indulge in a crab cake? My fresh, Dungeness Crab cake recipe is always a hit with both locals and visitors alike. Its versatility lends itself well to a variety of ways to serve up. I like them for Sunday Brunch with a perfectly poached egg on top and a creamy hollandaise from scratch but if the poached eggs and hollandaise create too rich a combination for you to digest, then try serving them with your favourite salad!
To really bring home this recipe and make it feel as local as possible, make the crab cakes in August, when the peppers and zucchinis and fresh herbs will be abundantly available.
No matter the meal, or the time of year you prepare it, you will enjoy these cakes while impressing your friends and loved ones. Happy eating!
Crab Cake Recipe
• One pound fresh crab meat, picked through ensuring no shell
• Two sweet red peppers, diced fine
• One small zuchinni diced fine
• One shallot diced fine
• Fresh herbs, parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme
• Zest from one lemon and one lime
• One teaspoon kosher salt
• One teaspoon fresh ground pepper
• Two cups panko bread crumbs
• Two or three eggs for binding
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, gently blend until ingredients are fully incorporated. This recipe makes a very delicate crab cake so I use a ring mold to form mine, taking care not to overwork the crab mix and not to make the cake too compact. Then sear either side of the crab cake with butter in a hot pan for 2 minutes per side, then into a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 5 minutes.
Prepared for the Salt Spring Exchange by Shawn Walton: Husband, Father, Chef/Owner of Auntie Pesto’s Café on beautiful Salt Spring Island.