Some people might think it's a little strange that I'm naming a recipe after a bicycle.
But that's because they haven't met this one. She's a vintage bike: 1960s, single-speed ladies' Schwinn Breeze with a frame of slender cobalt-blue tubing, straight handle bars, and a charming old-fashioned bicycle bell engraved with the American flag. And she's all mine, as of this Saturday.
Breezy's frame came without a single dent or scratch - I'm guessing she was bought as a birthday present for a rebellious teenage girl who ran off to join a hippie commune and ended up sitting in a suburban garage for almost half a century. She's a little bit of a fixer-upper: there's the faintest patina of rust about her wheels, which I'm going to scrub off with some Brillo after writing this post.
Scuba and I went all the way to Greenwich, Connecticut this weekend on the Metro-North line to pick up Breezy and to bike around the leafy town and the harbor together.
Scuba's bike is a true racing bike: a state-of-the-art sleek and aerodynamic 2008 Italian Bianchi track bike with curved handlebars. I mean, it's Tour-de-France-worthy-here, okay? His Bianchi is built to go up to 50mph, leaving a comet-like blur across the asphalt.
My Breezy, on the other hand, is a cruiser, built for a lazy summer day, bumping along the rickety planks of a beach boardwalk. I bought her to toodle along the Central Park loop, carrying a picnic basket and had the bike shop fix her up today with a basket to buckle Dash (the puppy) into.
So as Scuba and I rode around peaceful and pedestrian-less Greenwich, there happened to be this classic car show near Grass Island Park with very cartoon-y looking 1950s convertibles. Including this pastel-pink-and-blue Chevy, which I adored. And here I was, wearing a beat-up old pair of Diesel jeans and my little sister Mac's Converse all-star sneaks, feeling very much like an eight-year old all-American kid. Or alternatively: an extra in the musical Grease.
Then it occurred to me that for all my fondness for exploring exotic or international flavors, I hadn't cooked a single American dish for the blog. A surefire misstep on my part. That's why tonight I made my #1 favorite all-American dish: crab cakes.
(A lot of crab cake recipes involve frying, but we're baking ours - and using light mayo - for a healthier spin on this traditional Chesapeake recipe.)
- 1 lb. crabmeat
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 4 tbsp. fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
Optional, for extra feisty kick:
- 2 tsp. whole-grain dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Beat the egg.
- Wash and chop fresh parsley and measure out 4 tbsp.
- Mix dijon mustard, egg, mayonnaise and breadcrumbs together. Mix fresh parsley and crabmeat. Combine all until even.
- Shape into 10 golf-ball sized spheres and flatten into 3/4-inch tall patties. Place on a greased baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Bake until golden (approximately 12 - 20 minutes, depending on the oven).
- Squeeze a bit of lemon juice, garnish, and serve with tartar sauce or mayonnaise and dill.
Servings: 10 (1 crab cake), Prep time: 10 minutes (+12 - 20 bake time), Calories per Serving: 160, Pair with: Riesling