Jan 14 2010
As I’ve mentioned, my mother’s dinner parties are something you definitely want to score an invitation to. She sets the table at least six hours in advance with her prettiest chargers, wine glasses and ornate napkin rings, and guests always rave about the meal in a very genuine, non-patronizing way. Perhaps one of the reasons she’s so successful is that she doesn’t branch out much: She has in her repertoire a few crowd-pleasing dishes, and she’s perfected them to a science.
One such staple is her Crab Cakes with Yogurt Sauce. It’s a recipe she found in Come On In, a cookbook compiled by the Jackson Junior League that I now own, too. I’ve watched enough Paula Deen to be skeptical of Southern-style cookbooks, but this one is just about as gourmet as it gets, filled with classic Southern, Cajun and Creole recipes.
Anyway, back to the crab cakes. Or rather, to the yogurt dijon sauce. It’s delicious, and after tasting it I’ll never eat crab cakes bare again. While my mom’s always served the recipe as written, I decided to adapt the sauce to go with salmon, as fish is friendlier to my current budget than fresh jumbo lump crabmeat ($25 per container, I’m told. No thanks.) Here’s how to make the sauce.
1/2 cup Plain yogurt (I used low-fat)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp chopped onion (I used about half a shallot)
2 tbsp relish
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Whisk all ingredients together.
*Since I was serving the sauce with salmon, I decided to add some capers (about 2 tbsp). A couple of shakes of cayenne pepper will give it an extra kick, too.
For the salmon, I coated a large filet in a bit of olive oil, added some salt and pepper and baked on 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Oh, and the next day I got my crab cakes, after all. I cheated and bought them pre-made at the market for a very reasonable price, then served them with my leftover sauce. Those burned-looking things you see on the side are my version of homemade baked potato chips. Still perfecting that dish, clearly.