Today is the first Ember Days of the Lenten or Spring Season. Last year, Ember Days Wednesday happened to fall on National Corn Tortilla Chip Day. This year we have both Crab Meat Day and National Meatball Day for inspiration.
I’m not going to bore you will a lot of religious detail about Ember Days. Hubby has pointed out that shares that are overly religious don’t get nearly the feedback as those that are all about good eats. For me it’s a little hard to separate the two. I am devoutly Catholic. My faith is a guiding force in every aspect of my life. Faith is not an article of clothing that we wear when it suits us.
So bear with me for just a moment. Catholic Ember Days are 12 special days scattered throughout the year to give thanks to God for the changing seasons and the bounty of His harvest. The Ember Days of Spring or Lenten Season begin the Wednesday following Ash Wednesday. They are always a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of a particular week. Spring is all about the flowers that bloom, making it possible for bees to give us wax that is then formed into the candles of Baptism and lit upon the alter. Granted, not all candles are from bee’s wax. It’s really more symbolic. And the real purpose to the observance of Ember Days is to give thanks.
As a Catholic, we see our relationship with God as a celebration. What better way to celebrate than with little bite-size bits of deliciousness? And since it’s both Crab Meat Day and National Meatball Day, why not deep fry some crab meatballs? Happy Wednesday everyone!
Deep Fried Crab Balls with Chipotle Tarter Sauce
Chipotle Tartar Sauce
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Adobo Sauce (from a can of chipotle in adobo)
2 tablespoons Dill Relish
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Sea Salt to taste
In a medium bowl mix together mayonnaise, adobo sauce, relish, lemon juice, and Cayenne Pepper. Season to taste with with salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Spicy Crab Meatballs
1 lb Lump Crabmeat
1 tablespoon Chives
2 Baby Bell Peppers, minced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
1 Lemon zest, grated
1 Egg, whisked
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs, divided
2 tablespoons Parsley Flakes
Oil for deep frying
Drain crab meat. Pick through to remove any remaining shell. Flake meat apart, set aside. Snip chives, seed and mince peppers, zest lemon and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk egg, set aside.
In a large bowl, mix crabmeat, chives, peppers and lemon zest. Add egg, mayonnaise and 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs. Fold ingredients together to mix well. Set crab mixture aside.
On a large plate or pie tin, combine remaining 2/3 cup breadcrumbs with parsley flakes. Set aside.
Form crab mixture into 1-1/2 inch size balls. Roll crab balls into the breadcrumb mixture to coat evenly. Gently squeeze meatballs to tighten. Set aside.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 325 degrees. Fry crab balls in batches so as to not over crowd until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.
Arrange crab balls on a serving platter with Chipotle Tarter Sauce. Serve and enjoy.