Shame, the crabcake and the Paper Chef

For a long time there was a trend in book titles (and movie titles) toward titles that went something like, “XYZ and the ABC.” An example might be “Sex and the Single Woman,” or “Albert and the Strange Sound in the Night.” So that’s what this posting is going to be like. I promise that at some point we will indeed tie shame, the crabcake and the Paper Chef together. But first, a reminder.

The Paper Chef event for this month is being hosted at The Domestic Goddess. It starts tomorrow, Friday, March 4th, so get over there now! (and then come back and keep reading the rest of this to find out my shame and all about the little crabcake and the olive…
Crabcake copyright 2005 Owen Linderholm

OK, back to the sordid tale. I now reveal my secret shame – the reason I fall so far behind in posting – and the pathetic way that I try to remember what I was doing more than a month ago. The secret is that I take pictures. Then they remind me that I made something and they sometimes (if I remembered to set it) have an associated date. And that is how I reconstruct what I did on a certain evening back in the dark days of January.

So what is the oldest, darkest, most moldering thing that I haven’t written about in the longest time? That’s right – it is a crabcake. Although it as a sprightly, lively crabcake at the time. You can see that above…

On the other hand, I now have absolutely no recollection of what made this a special crabcake, worthy of preserving for posterity. It looks like it had nice big, meaty chunks of crab. I actually remember eating it. It was a tasty crabcake. But nothing else springs to mind.

So I’ll give you my philosophy on crabs and crabcakes. First, nothing – absolutely nothing – beats a nice fresh crab, steamed with something a little salty and a little sour to accompany it, then cracked open and eaten hot. But when the crab gets cold and if there are leftovers (unlikely but possible) then there is only one thing to do. Spend the rest of the evening cracking the crab and extracting the meat. Next day, remove it from the fridge and make crabcakes cooked very hot, very fast in a skillet. The crabcake must have as little as possible in it other than crab. But you need something to aid binding. I use any and all of the following in judicious amounts: egg, olive oil, garlic, scallions, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper, chilli, paprika, hot sauce, salt, breadcrumbs (when I have more mouths to feed than crab to put in them).

We have dealt with shame, crabcakes and now we return to the Paper Chef. Go to The Domestic Goddess and get the scoop!

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