Thursday, May 22, 2014


Black-Eyed Susan

Crab Cakes

Congratulations again to California Chrome, winner of 2014's Preakness.  And best of luck for the final race at the Belmont Stakes in New York for a chance to win the Triple Crown!  We enjoyed watching the Preakness Stakes and making Black-Eyed Susan* Cocktails and Maryland Crab Cakes, two of the traditional fares of the Preakness.
The Black-Eyed Susan Cocktail was first introduced at the 1973 Preakness.  It was created by the Harry M. Stevens Company who was the caterer at Pimlico.  And there have been numerous variations of the drink over the years.  It has been made with vodka, rum, whiskey, bourbon, peach schnapps, orange juice, pineapple juice, sour mix, orange-flavored liqueur, elderflower-flavored liquor, to name a few.
We first tried the recipe that is listed on the Preakness website.  We served it in a martini glass.  The drink was frothy and looked different than the versions we've seen, but it has had numerous variations.   It was very sweet. And since we had pineapple and orange juice left over, we tried making it with rum instead of the St. Germain.  It was not as sweet.

Black-Eyed Susan Cocktails via the Preakness:
1 1/2 oz Finlandia Vodka
1/2 oz St. Germain
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Orange Juice
Garnish with fresh Orange Slice

The Maryland Crab Cakes also have many variations.  And although I have my own version of crab cakes, I wanted to try something a little closer to the Maryland delights. I added other herbs (tarragon) and used unflavored breadcrumbs in lieu of crackers.  Also, I added several ingredients which are typically used in Bloody Mary's.

 "Maryland" Crab Cakes:
1 lb Crab meat
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons fresh Parsley, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh Tarragon, minced
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs (plus about 1/4 cup more for dusting pan and cakes)
2 Eggs, beaten
5 dashes of Tabasco Sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Horseradish
1 Stick of Butter, cut into 1" pieces

Line a sheet pan with waxed paper and dust lightly with reserved bread crumbs.  Set aside.

Combine all ingredients, except butter, and mix together lightly. Form into desired size cakes and then pat lightly with additional bread crumbs. Place crab cakes on sheet pan and refrigerate for about 1-2 hours.

Heat butter in a large skillet and fry cakes until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.

Serve with Tartar Sauce and Cocktail Sauce on the side.

*The Black-Eyed Susan was designated the state flower of Maryland in 1918. Actually, a blanket of chrysanthemums, decorated to look like black-eyed Susans, is traditionally placed around the winner's neck because Black-Eyed Susans are not in season during the Preakness.

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