Several years ago we started a tradition. My Momma lives several miles from us and she has the entire family over for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, she'll feed certainly more than 40 people. Mybe 50 folks. So, on Wednesday night, we have the clan over for the evening meal. We figured it would take some of the load off of Momma, who literally has a lot on her plate.
Our Wednesday night menu is non-traditional. We cook crab cakes, crawfish etoufee, rice, yeast rolls, and normally some meat dish for those who don't eat seafood. Tonight the meat dish is Natchitoches Meat Pies. Home-made meat pies.
My recipe for crab cakes is simple.
One small can of white crab meat, drained. Don't squeeze all the juice out, just let the majority of it roll off. You need some of the flavor that the juice provides.
One roll of Ritz crackers, crushed
One good sprinkle of cajun seasoning.
One handful of seasoning vegetables (onion, bell pepper, celery)
Crush your crackers, add crabmeat, egg, seasoning, and veggies. Roll into small cakes. Place crab cakes on a platter, separating layers with waxed paper. Refrigerate several hours. An hour before meal time, deep-fry at about 360 degrees until golden brown. One recipe makes about six crab cakes. I've got eight recipes in the 'fridge right now.
An hour, you ask? Yeah, I'll start heating the oil about an hour before meal time. I've got 48 crab cakes to cook and 45 meat pies. The meat pies will go in the oil first and the crab cakes afterward. It'll take just about an hour to cook all that on one outdoor burner with my frying pot. If I had two burners cranked up, with two big pots, I could fry all that in about 20 minutes, but clean-up would take twice as long. I'll go with the single burner.
The way I like to eat crab cakes is to put a big dollop of rice on a plate, drop a crab cake on top of the rice, then a ladle of crawfish etoufee. A big glass of iced tea and I'm a happy camper.
If you don't like seafood, there are some meat pies on the sideboard.
Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.