As you have probably surmised through my posts, I am a stress cooker. Some people like to eat or drink or smoke…I cook.
Yeah, I COOK.
And not necessarily for myself. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time I spent in the kitchen when I was in law school as a single mom at 35. There is no better therapy to me than turning up the music and cooking.
And I absolutely adore seafood. I cannot even begin to imagine what life would be like without shellfish. It makes my heart hurt to think about it. I think it would be like being allergic to bacon… DISASTROUS.
So the other day I decided I wanted to try to recreate one of my favorite dishes from a great restaurant in Atlantic Beach, NC. I knew in my head what I wanted to make, but I wasn’t sure where to start.
I found one of Paula Deen’s recipes for crab cakes, so I decided to start there. I love to make crab cakes, but I have never actually used a recipe. It usually has just involved stale hamburger buns and some crab meat because I make them at the river and stale hamburger buns are always around for some reason.
This recipe uses Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs. Definitely worth making. I used a red pepper rather than a green pepper in mine. I read a lot of the reviews and saw that a lot of people complained about the crab cakes being too runny. I followed the advice of some who said not to add more crackers. Instead I shaped the crab cakes and put them in the fridge to congeal a little before frying them. They came out beautifully and I would not change a thing.
Now for the fun part of the dinner… I made pasta with a chipotle cream sauce. And it turned out absolutely PERFECT.
How perfect? Joe actually ate a little and said, “THIS is why we never need to go out to dinner again.” Yes, it is expensive because of the crab meat, but well worth the money and I ate the crab cakes for DAYS. So here it is…
Val’s Chipotle Pasta with Crab Cakes
Pasta – Cook a box of Penne Pasta until al dente and drain.
Veggies for Pasta – Chop up half a red onion and half a red pepper. Cut the corn off of two ears of corn.
Heat about a Tbsp of oil (I used about 2 Tbsp of bacon grease I had leftover from breakfast instead – YUM) in a pan and saute veggies until tender and set aside.
Sauce for Pasta – Heat three Tbsp of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Saute two small minced shallots in butter. Take a can of chipotle peppers and seed & chop 5 chipotle peppers. Add peppers, 1 Tbsp of the chipotle adobo sauce, 1/2 a glass of dry white wine, and 2 cups of half and half. Let simmer and stir constantly until it thickens.
When sauce has thickened, add veggies and continue to stir. Add a container of uncooked spinach (I think my container was 4 oz) and stir until spinach has wilted to your liking. Add pasta and a handful of chopped cilantro.
Serve with crab cakes for an AMAZING DINNER!!!! I have to say that I outdid myself on this one. I can’t wait to have a dinner party soon so I can serve this to my friends!