Thursday, July 1, 2010

(Fake) Crab Cooking!

I cooked today!  Woohoo!  After my run I was exhausted, which quickly turned to starving.  I had one package of imitation of crab meat and two recipes to tackle.  I figured one would be "early lunch" at 11am and the other could be "late lunch" at 3pm, which is perfect since the first was 220 calories and the second was 290.  Now I am full enough to last til dinner tonight!

Recipe #1 was a Crab and Broccoli Stir Fry... and that's really all it was.  Very basic recipe.  Oil, veggies, garlic, and crab in a pan, and you're done!  I didn't have and plain broccoli left so I used a broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix.  I don't think I liked the carrots being in there.  Oh well.  Also, I added some soy sauce to this recipe after a few bites, because I was hoping for an Asian flavored dish and the only  flavor was the imitation crab meat.
Recipe #2 was Creamy Crab au Gratin.  My half and half just expired, which I thought would be ok, but it looked kind of gross when I opened it, so I opted for milk.  I was a little worried about how this would affect the consistency of the dish, but it turned out pefectly!  I really liked this recipe - it's very hearty!  It's a great dish for when you want something creamy/fatty but don't want to actually have a ton of cream and fat (it has 12g fat total, 6g saturated fat).  My only gripe with this recipe is that I don't think the celery tasted very good with it.  Maybe I needed to chop it up even smaller, but every time I took a bite with celery, my reaction was" that doesn't belong in here!"  Other than that, it was great.  I was surprised that there was no cheese in this recipe, and I was tempted to just add some in for fun.  But if I'm going to be reviewing these recipes, I feel that I should at least TRY to make them as written before I go changing them around.   It was definitely delicious without the cheese, but I think adding some would have also been just fine.
(Note: you cook the recipe with bread crumbs on top, but I mixed it up after I took it out of the oven in order to photograph it!).
What is your opinion of imitation crab meat?  I grew up eating it a lot (not sure why my parents always cooked with it) so I think that's part of why I like it, although you can't beat real crab!  Imitation crab meat has a distinctly different taste than real crab, and I think it totally depends on the recipe and what you are expecting to eat whether or not the fake stuff works.  For these recipes, it was fine, but for something like crab cakes, no way!

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