Monday, October 14, 2013

The Novel Bakers Present Apple Week

Crisp autumn air arrived just in time for Apple Week,
presented by The Novel Bakers, a group of readers, friends, and bakers.
 Our organizer, Jain, selected a delightful novel to inspire us this month: The Apple Orchard by New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs.

After I read the book, I started to crave apples. 
I'd just weathered the Summer of Sickness, battling tick and mosquito bites, and I was eager to stay well. If an apple a day kept the doctor away, then our family needed a bushel.

 I was ready to put on my apron and cook.
Bandwidth and I came up with a fresh, early Autumn meal: Apple Crab Cakes and a Crispy
Apple Salad.

The apples 'woke up' the crab meat, adding a fresh, zingy taste. And there's nothing
like apples and homegrown lettuce.


Apple Crab Cakes
      Serves: 6
 Printable Recipe

3 cans white crab meat, drained
lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
1/2 cup (less or more; your call) chopped celery
1/4 to 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons Duke's Mayonnaise (or more if the mixture if too dry)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup peeled and grated apples (I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Tabasco and hot pepper flakes (optional)
Salt, freshly ground pepper
all purpose flour (for dredging)
breadcrumbs (plain and Panko, for dredging)

Place drained crab meat in a deep bowl and set aside.
Sautee onions and celery in 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons EVOO until
vegetables are "clear" and tender. Add apples and cook two to four minutes, depending on the texture you want.
Add sautéed vegetables/apples to crab meat. (Save the pan to fry cakes.)
Add beaten egg and mix.
Add mayonnaise, honey, Old Bay, sherry, Tabasco, hot pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Add bread crumbs until the mixture isn't sticky and will hold its shape.
Mix well and shape into cakes. Place on a cookie sheet.
Find 2 long, shallow pans. Fill one with all purpose flour and the other with Panko bread crumbs.
One at a time, dip each cake in flour, then in Panko.

Drizzle olive oil in pan. Fry patties in the sautée pan over a medium-high flame. Cook until the cakes are brown, turning once. Transfer cakes to a serving platter (line it with paper towels).
Squeeze a fresh lemon over the cakes, if desired.

Cooking Notes:
 Crab cakes can be bland. We like plenty of sautéed vegetables, with generous helpings of mayonnaise and sherry. Two types of bread crumbs help hold the cakes together; panko
crumbs add crunch with every bite.

Gordon Ramsay's Crunchy Apple Salad
(courtesy of Bandwidth)  Serves 2
1 Granny Smith apple
Bandwidth's organic romaine
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Olive Oil
Peel, core, and cut apple into julienne strips. Toss strips with the lettuce
(reserve apple bits for garnish)
Zest 1/2 of the lemon. Squeeze lemon over lettuce and apples.
Drizzle the salad with olive oil and mix well.
I whisked a little honey into the oil.
Garnish with apple and lemon zest.

You are cordially invited to join The Novel Bakers for . . .

Apple Week continues with my fellow bakers: Jain, Mary, and Pam. I can't wait to see what these talented ladies have been cooking!
 Jain   a quiet life,


A Metamorphosis Monday contribution. 

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  1. The crab cakes sound amazing Michael, I would never think to add apple! Lovin' your pretty table covering too:@)

    1. Most of my experiments end up like something in FRANKENSTEIN, but this was great. If you make it, let me know how it turns out.

  2. Oh apple crab cakes! The apples sound like a wonderful addition to the sweet crab meat! I adore your quilted table covering with vivid reds and greens~ a perfect pairing with your basket of apples! And organic romaine and apple salad sounds so fresh & crisp and so pretty with your leafy lettuce placemats. I hope fall and your bushel of apples brings you lots of healthy days and keeps the doctors away, except your hubby of course :)

    1. Mary, I've just returned from pinning your gorgeous photos. Can't wait to see what you've cooked this week! xx

  3. I am so excited to be joining in this week!!! Also, where did you get that tablecloth? I love it! Did you make it?

    1. Pam, it's a throw--part of a children's bedding set. Wish I'd made it, but I can barely thread a needle these days. Looking forward to visiting you for Apple Week.

  4. your apples tumbling about on the vivid green look so gorgeous to my eyes!

    OH OH OH, I SO WANT TO MAKE THIS! I AM WILD OVER YOUR CRAB CAKES! and yippee for me, i HAVE CRAB! last night i made a note to self to find a crab recipe, what perfect timing :-) i made a delish apple salad the other night with a lime dressing and blackberries, it was the freshest taste, for some reason i just know the crab cakes will give me that same delightful fresh bite~

    your apple salad sounds good, now where do i find bandy romaine, is it nationwide yet?

    your table, the scattering of leaves the smell of apples and CRAB in the air are tingling my senses, thanks so much for taking a bite out of fall, heaven knows you have been having a rough summer... and then some!

    1. Bandy got a kick out of your comment! After the latest lettuce scare (naturally I succumbed to the icky effects), he made a salad garden. So glad that he inherited my mom's green thumb.

  5. So happy the Novel Bakers are back! I have to say those apple crab cakes sound wonderful. I love apples and crab cakes are one of my favorites, so the two together sounds wonderful to me,

  6. This recipe looks fabulous and I just bought 2 bags. I was planning to make some scones and a pie!

  7. Mmmm...sounds delicious. I would have never thought of pairing apples and crab...but goodness that sounds like a great combo! Beautiful basket of apples.

    1. Apples brightened the bland crab meat--very nice surprise. I was afraid my picky eaters would skip this, so I didn't reveal the ingredients until after the meal had been consumed.

  8. Delicious sounding and looking crab cakes!

  9. Will definitely make the crab cakes. The apples sound like a delicious addition. Beautiful images, ML. Glad you are experiencing a beautiful crisp fall. Hopefully we will have a taste of fall later in the week. Raining here now, which is a blessing for certain. Thanks for the apple treat. I'm an apple a day girl!

  10. The weather is finally starting to turn cool, and I am thinking about apples. Of course, I always think about crab cakes, because I love them so much, but combining the two? Never would have occurred to me. They look amazing, so I'm going to give the recipe (and the book) a try.

  11. Wow, your outdoor photos are always spectacular and your recipes are a-m-m-m-azing! I want to come for a taste. xo

  12. Ohhh apple crabcakes, aren't you clever! I bet they are divine! LOVE your apple basket photos with them spilling all over the grass~

  13. What a great post! Love the shots of the apples! Looking forward to seeing what your fellow bakers have made.

  14. We are going North to pick apples this Friday! I am so excited! I am going to save this recipe to Pinterest!



  15. This is beautiful! I love the apple crab cakes! Yum!

  16. Happy Birthday, ML! I wish you good health and a wonderful year!
    I am sorry, I didn't know about the surprise party!

  17. The crab cakes were refreshingly delicious-a real hit for my hubby's dinner!