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September 2013



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Starving Artists in the Kitchen--Crab Cakes a la' Joseph

J. took me out for dinner not long ago...I’d heard about the wonderful crab cakes in a restaurant that shall remain nameless, and let me tell you, if they keep that up, they WILL. The crab cakes tasted more like bleach than seafood. NOT good. Joseph’s blow them out of the water, and this latest South-of-the-border incarnation is even better. I talked him into including both, here...

Joseph’s absolutely sublime
(OK, I added the “absolutely sublime,” he’s too modest! Other than that, the recipe is in his words...)


One thing I’ve always believed about crab cakes is that they should be more crab than cake. What this means for my recipes is that they’re very hard to fry without them falling apart – you have to bake them. Lump crab is the best but claw meat tends to be cheaper and it will do just fine.

Kate’s note:
It really is a brave new world....can you believe I found
The Crab Place--Jumbo Lump Crab Meat available on  Amazon.com? Remember when they just sold books??)

Joseph’s note:
If you’re on a REALLY tight budget, you can use faux crab–find it in the fish section of your grocer’s. We shop for the kind with the fewest “extra” ingredients.

Below are two recipes but the instructions are the same: combine all ingredients except the crab. When thoroughly mixed, add crab meat and again mix thoroughly. Chill for two hours then shape into cakes. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.


1 lb crab meat
1/4 c minced celery
1/4 c minced onion
1 T lime juice (but lemon will do)
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t dry mustard
2 eggs
1/4 c bread crumbs

(You can tell J. doesn't mind a food processor's noise!)


1 lb crab meat
1/8 c minced celery
1/8 c minced onion
1/4 c salsa – preferably Galla’s Gourmet Blue Crab Salsa if you can find it
3 T lime juice (powdered “True Lime” * can be added for a stronger lime flavor)
1/2 t paprika
2 eggs
1/4 c finely crushed corn tortilla chips (use the plain ones – just corn, oil & salt)

  Pretty much just corn and salt in these, unlike some of the fancy chips...

  A greased cookie sheet worked fine...

One thing that goes well with either one is:


1/4 c minced onion
1/4 c sweet pickle relish
1/4 c minced jalapeño peppers
3/4 c real mayonnaise (do NOT use Miracle Whip!)
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients and chill in covered container. Keeps well if kept refrigerated.*

If you don’t have jalapeños, it’s great with just regular relish, too...


* I’m trying to store foods in more glass than plastic, these days–and not reheat it in plastic in the microwave, either, if I can help it. Around here, at least, glass is not recyclable (I know, ridiculous since that’s one of the easiest things TO recycle), so I love keeping it out of the landfill as long as I can! Cheaper, too, to rescue an old pickle- or applesauce jar than to buy a brand-new plastic storage container...

* True Lemon and True Lime flavorings, the two we’ve tried, really ARE good, and low on chemicals–the ingredients list for True Lemon reads “citric acid, lactose (from MILK??), lemon juice, lemon oil, maltodexrin and ascorbic acid or vitamin C.” As my husband would say, “not too shabby!”

You can read more here: http://www.truelemon.com/index.html or here: http://tinyurl.com/5douey

The flavor crystals are also extremely portable and don’t develop mold after a week or so, like the real thing!  (Yep, I use fresh when I can, but these are soooo handy. I like them better than the liquid lemon or lime flavoring available at the grocer’s, too.)

I found True Lemon flavoring crystals on Amazon, too, along with True Lime and True Orange . Yum. I see an order in my immediate future, I’m nuts about orange flavor...

As usual, let us know what you think!  Feedback rocks!

For the artists out there–I did the sketch in my journal a couple of years ago, before we were married–he was fixing crab cakes in his kitchen in Virginia! This is a quick ink sketch with watercolor washes, one of my favorite techniques. (You can find my how-to CD on ink and wash in my website catalog, here: http://www.cathyjohnson.info/catalog.html )


If only I could! Sadly, crab is the only food to which I've discovered I'm allergic. :o(
I think a lot of people have seafood allergies. I'm SO glad I don't have to add that to my nut allergy!
nummy! last time i had crab cakes was when i was out in MD for a funeral... hated the occasion. loved the crab cakes!

yeah. they will be on the menu sometime during the holidays. maybe on christmas for the cowards who don't "do" lutefisk, along with the swedish sausage. in fact, one son-in-law has put in a request for oyster stew. this might go along with the "menu" very well!
Can I come to your house for Christmas?

I won't have lutefisk till New Year's Eve, here...
They sound wonderful! Baking them is a good idea, too. I'll have to try that. I have a great recipe from a booklet I bought in Virginia, but they do tend to be hard to keep in one piece. I'll try these, too.
Crab meat on Amazon? Who knew? :-)
And I smiled at the Miracle Whip note (ick).
I know, I was amazed! I was looking to see if I could find the Blue Crab Salsa he mentioned in the recipe, since it's a bit hard to find. They didn't have THAT, but they had the actual crabmeat!

Yeah, I think you have to be brought up on Miracle Whip to want to use it. Gah.:-)

Let me know if you like them!
Yebbit THIRTY-FIVE BUCKS A POUND? I guess if you can't get lump crabmeat anywhere else...

(We get it from Costco for about $14/lb.)
I didn't figure WE were gonna order it...being starving artists and all. ;-) Still, it's cool to know what you can get there, isn't it!


Love the New Format

I love the new layout of your blog! I have a couple of your books, and I enjoy seeing your work on Flickr, but I tended not to read your blog because to me, it was difficult to navigate. This is much easier. Thanks!


Re: Love the New Format

Oh, good, I'm glad it's easier, Katy, and thanks for the heads up! I wasn't even aware the old format was difficult or I would have changed it sooner, sorry!
I hope this goes through because in the past I wasn't able to post. Just wanted to say I love reading about you and Joseph. Happiness flows everywhere now.