Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lavender Week--Day 3: The Novel Bakers

The Novel Bakers Present
Lavender Week -- Day 3
Rattlebridge Farm is far from the sea, but that doesn't prevent us from enjoying crab cakes.
However, I've never made them with lavender.
And, because I live with lavender-wary men, I was shaking in my boots when I found this recipe. Crab meat is rather pricey, and if the recipe failed, my family would be disappointed--and hungry.
After much dithering, I substituted lavender honey for lavender buds.
How did the cakes turn out?

The crust was deliciously savory and slightly crunchy. I sighed
a little when I forked up the flaky white cake.
The lavender honey added a subtle sweetness,
which was balanced by the red peppers and Tabasco.

A little war broke out over the last crab cake.


Northwest Lavender Crab Cakes
                                       6 to 8 Servings
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dry mustard (I used Dijon)
2 teaspoons "Provence" lavender buds, finely ground (I omitted this)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
1 pound fresh (I used canned) crab meat
2 3/4 cups panko
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
lemon wedges (garnish)
chopped fresh Italian parsley (garnish)
My Additions:
1 tablespoon lavender honey
flour (for dredging)
A few sprinkles of Tabasco
cream sherry
fresh lemon juice
additional butter and EVOO
Old Bay Seasoning (a sprinkling on each side of the cakes--the sides, too.)
The crab recipe includes a creamy honey sauce, which sounds fantastic,
but my husband requested a different sauce (Tartar), so
I added lavender honey and cream sherry to the crab mixture.
I used white crab meat (canned). I also added
finely chopped Italian parsley to the mixture.
Sautee the onions and celery in butter and oil. Set aside.
Drain crabmeat and place in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, egg, mustard, salt, pepper, lavender,
and lemon juice. Add sautéed vegetables. Mix well and form mixture into cakes.
Find 2 bowls. Add flour in one bowl and panko bread crumbs in the other. Dip a pattie
in flour, then in panko. Sprinkle each side with Old Bay and lemon thyme salt. Repeat this
procedure until all cakes have been coated.
Over a medium flame, melt butter in a large frying pan. Add olive oil.
Add the cakes and fry gently, flipping them as necessary (but carefully).
Remove to platter. Squeeze 1/4 lemon over the cakes (optional).

You can find lavender honey in specialty stores or online.

Would you like to see a luscious, profusion of lavender?
Please click on the links (see below)
and view all of The Novel Bakers' lavender posts:

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  1. Oh your crab cakes are picture perfect and plated so beautifully with your endive and greens! We tried the crab cakes too, my hubby was skeptical of the lavender but it was wonderful and yes, ambrosial!

    I adore all your flower page embellishments! I keep returning to your Lemon Thyme Seasoning Salt~ salt never looked so good!

    My mystery ingredients arrived safely, thank you so much! Now I just have to start searching for recipes :)

  2. So pretty!!! I think I must get this cookbook!

  3. That sounds wonderful and it's a beautiful presentation, too. I have a good source of lavender (my yard!) so this is one I can easily try.

  4. What a presentation, Michael Lee! You make crab cakes with lavender look so enticingly beautiful! Who could resist trying those delicious morsels??!!
    I also checked the granola and oh my... can I have some for breakfast, please??

  5. oh how gorgeous is that platter... i so wanted to make this too, i am truly salivating at every pic because just the recipe alone had me smitten, but in full living color, WOW! and you do color oh so well... i love that you crated a flurry among men over lavender, be brave next time and give them the full monty!

    and again i must ask, what is that wonderful cloth with lavender, you found so many pretty pieces...

    its fun that you are using you own thyme salt too, don't you love all that you can harvest and create from a garden.

    another total pictorial delight, i so love the vibrancy of your photos, they evoke happiness to me, thank you for sharing the many beauties of lavender this week~

  6. Pretty, pretty, pretty!

    Look how you've made crab cakes so delightfully feminine ~ I never could have imagined it! ~ And I really like the way you've varied the recipe. A wisp of lavender can go a long way ~I know we would love these.

    You have such a way with words Michael, I find myself grinning all the way through your posts, and not just because of the gorgeous photos ~ your 'word images' are just as delightful!

    "A little war broke out over the last crab cake."

    Now who but YOU, with your great wit and creative mind could come up with THAT gem??! xo

  7. Well, crab cakes are a favorite dish here, so we will give this a try. My husband isn't so fond of lavender, but I am! ;-)
    Your flower shots are gorgeous! Gotta find me a jar of Mary Lake Thompson's beautifully wrapped lavender honey. Picture perfect! ~ Sarah