04 September 2008

Baby Got Crabs

No, not every post from here on out is going to be a ridiculous picture of my infant participating in a questionable epicurean activity.

But most of them will be.

Just kidding...I suppose Fancy Toast will eventually get back to being a food blog.

Unless you don’t want it to.

In any case, I made some crab cakes the other day, and who really cares about that, not me and probably not you, but what I DO care about and what you SHOULD care about is the aioli dipping sauce, which I would eat by spoonfuls IF I had some left and IF it wasn’t mostly mayonnaise.

Saffron-Orange Aioli Dipping Sauce

I found the recipe on Epicurious earlier this spring when I was looking for a way to fancy up some grilled asparagus. Afterwards, we had so much aioli left over that we started putting it on salads, potatoes, and everything that could be enhanced by a drizzle of flavorful liquid fat. For the crab cakes, I added orange juice and grated orange zest to give the aioli a little more zang-a-lang.

You may or may not be delighted to know that this is really a fake aioli because you are using store-bought mayonnaise instead of whisking eggs and olive oil together yourself. But honestly, how many of you have actually made a successful aioli from scratch? If you have, please to send me the recipe so that I may try again?

Deliciously Fake Saffron-Orange Aioli
From Epicurious.com, adapted by Fancy Toast
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
Large pinch of saffron threads
1 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Whisk vinegar, orange juice, honey, and saffron threads in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Cool completely.
Alternatively and more easily, heat in a microwave.

Mix mayonnaise, garlic, and orange zest in medium bowl to blend. Mix in cooled vinegar mixture. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over crab cakes, grilled vegetables, salads, napping babies, etc.


aria said...

oh please! what a cutiepie. stop, just stop! heeeeee ;)

my friend faked me out w/ some aeoli last weekend for artichokes. what is it with you people! mmm. was gooooot

Anonymous said...


Doesn't crab cost way more than saffron (not by weight but by amount needed to satisfy)? I'm not getting how you can afford mucho crab but not a couple greenbacks for saffron.

Other than that...yum.

Erielle said...

Hi Aria! Glad you enjoy the pics. And fake aioli. It might become a commonplace condiment in my fridge, seeing as it lasts for a long time.

Anonymous, if you buy claw meat in a can, it's actually not that expensive. There are so many other ingredients in crab cakes that you don't even need fresh crab meat. Also, a little bit of saffon goes a long way, so even though the initial investment is pricey, you usually have that bit of saffron for a long time. It's worth it!

Marie said...

Who can object to pictures of babies cooking? You have to start them early. :P

janelle said...

Awesome. I just printed off the recipe. I ADORE aioli.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Oh thank god you're back! I'll admit to being worried, and all kind of horrible scenarios went through my head about why you might not be posting anymore. Whew.

I sometimes buy premade crab cakes at the store, and I'm looking forward to making this sauce for them. :)

Caviar and Codfish said...

Ahh yes, clawmeat. I always get that for crab cakes so I don't feel like I'm spending too much money. It's really great once you get over the fact that you're gonna get a shell or two in your cake.

Cute baby, as I'm sure you've already figured out.

Vanessa said...

yes, i have no problem with you posting pics of alice making stuff. it's a whole next generation thing, makes me feel like we're all involved in her culinary education!

HHRose said...

Um, I don't want it to revert to a foodie blog. More babies, please! :o)

Lisa said...

THIS stuff looks amazing. I want it now! I have made aioli before, but it's been so long, I don't know what recipe I used.

Kirstie said...

I just dropped in on your blog, all excited, and here I find that you're idea of posting is about twice a year. Hmph! Well, I'll put it on my RSS feed so when you do get around to posting I'll be one of your first readers. Loved the baby in the pot picture. I don't think Brynn would appreciate being put in a Dutch oven right about now either, but I might give it a try just to see.

Erica said...

hi erielle,
i was just showing your blog to some foodie friends as we were talking about loving something (like a cat or a baby) so much that you want squeeze it and bite it...or put it in a dutch oven. very grimm. :)

anyway, we always made homemade mayo or aeoli, and the magic device is a cuisinart. one must drizzle the oil slowly enough as to allow for it to go into suspension. my recollection is that it's really quite simple, provided you've got the correct tool...

Erielle said...

Marie, so true!

Janelle, it's so good!

J, I'm sorry to have worried you. It was so rude of me. I need a redo!

Caviar, a shell here or there never hurt anyone, right? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Vanessa, I will try to include as much as I can of her doing food-related things. Fun stuff!

Hannah, you got your wish. See next post.

Lisa, did you get to try it yet? I hope so! I need to figure out what to put it on now that we're not grilling anymore.

Kirstie, well, now the blog is all baby, so I will mos def be posting more often, since I am all baby all day. :)

Erica, I will try the food processor. Maybe I have only used the whisk in the past. I can't remember! Thanks for the tip.

andshewas said...

don't use a food processor with olive oil.
from the mouth of alton brown:
"Now if you decide on using extra virgin olive oil, add it by hand only. It's got fruitier compounds that just can't take the slam dance of the processor. It will turn out bitter. Let's spin, shall we?"

the secret to a homemade aioli is to start with just a couple drops of oil at a time and whisk the hell out of it between each addition. you're trying to get a good stable emulsion to work with, and that requires patience. once you've got that, you can gradually increase the speed of the addition of oil.

Erielle said...

Andshewas, thanks so much for the tip!
I will try it that way. Today!