I thought I had my Sunday all planned out. Today I’d try my hand at mofongo, having received my friend (and Cooking Channel star) Ben Sargent’s debut cookbook, The Catch. And while I have every intention to make that mofongo, it didn’t happen today. I was supposed to have lunch with a friend but before that, I would hit the gym, the grocery store and the pool — a typical Saturday/Sunday morning in the life of me. Sunday afternoons I reserve for cooking and subsequently blogging about it.
At 8 a.m. the sound of a text message woke me up. It was my friend suggesting we have breakfast instead. Wait a second, I thought, you want to change the plans and throw off my entire day? It was too much to process before my cafe con leche. Alas, I caved, and got myself ready by 9:30 a.m. I figured there’d still be time to make some mofongo magic. Until the next text came in. “Grab your bathing suit, let’s hit the beach after.” Wait, what?! The routine that is my weekend mornings flashed before my eyes.
Fast forward an hour and I was in vibrant Lincoln Road enjoying a plate of delicious Eggs Benedict at Balan’s. The sun was shining and the people watching was on point. Maybe this was an awesome idea after all. Next, we hit the beach. With all the traveling I do, sometimes I take for granted the beautiful city that I live in. Miami is a place like no other; it’s paradise, but with sabor.
A couple hours later, when our noses started to turn a little too pink, we made our way back across the causeway. While I had every intention to stop by the store to pick up plantains, shrimp, garlic and the other essentials I needed for the recipe, I looked at my friend and said, “I have a better idea. Let’s get some wine and take out.” So we did. We picked up a bottle of delicious Spanish wine and some ceviche from my local farmer’s market. (If you live in Miami, a small company called Surf & Turf Catering sets up a tent in Brickell Flatiron Park where they serve the most amazing ceviche I’ve had here. They’re there Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Go!) There’s nothing like a plate of fresh ceviche after a day at the beach. This reminds me, I need to come up with a new ceviche recipe. Something spicy.
Moral of the story — I was really happy that I allowed myself to throw the plans out the window and just seize the day. Here’s a little salsa for you to drive my point home: Marc Anthony – Vivir Mi Vida
That said, you didn’t think I’d leave you without a new recipe, did you? Of course I did end up making it to the grocery store because a fridge with no greens makes me very sad. And in carpe diem fashion, I bought myself some fancy lump crab meat, and decided tonight would be the night I’d treat myself to some homemade crab cakes. They were everything I ever dreamed of and more.
Carpe Diem Crab Cakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
- 8 oz. lump crab meat
- 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 cup cornmeal (I used PAN)
- 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- lime and cilantro for garnish
1. In your medium IMUSA caldero, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook until soft and light brown. Add the corn and cook another couple of minutes.
2. In a large bowl. combined the cooked onion, pepper and corn, crab meat, mustard, egg white, cornmeal, Old Bay seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. In another caldero (a large one) heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Shape the crab into patties, making them as compact as you can. It should yield about two large crab cakes or four small ones. Carefully place them in the caldero and cook for about five minutes on each side. Serve with cilantro and lime wedges.