Of course, my bluff was called. Calendars were consulted, judges assembled, and a host of "oh shit, what the hell was I thinking" moments later, I found myself making crab cakes for a bunch of great people I barely know, and just a couple I know well, including CD. Huge thanks to my long suffering husband. He not only ate crab cakes four times in eight days once you add the very nice leftovers we just consumed for dinner, but deftly handled kid duty while I got to play in the kitchen.
Knowing I was at a serious disadvantage in the experience department, I consulted the only person I know from Baltimore who sent me a few recipes, including one from an Annapolis crab house. Though I am entirely unable to follow a recipe as it is (unless I'm baking -- that's chemistry and keep the improv to a minimum), this seemed like a really good place to start. Here's what I did that isn't in the recipe:
And here's what I'll do differently next time:
- Fresh parsley
- Canola oil and butter for frying (something I spotted Uncle Crappy doing)
- Some of Uncle Crappy's mustard stuff on the side. (oh.my.)
You can see photos and read Uncle Crappy's account over here. As he says, our styles were very different and tough to compare, but the esteemed team of judges leaned in Uncle Crappy's general direction. As I said earlier, there was no way I could lose. Tasty crab cakes were had by all. (Not to mention the other FINE contributions to the feast. Thanks guys!)
I will pay up with a growler of East End Brewing's finest at a time of Uncle Crappy's choosing. And I hope we can schedule a rematch when the weather is better. Tuna steaks, anyone? Chili, perhaps? You name it. I'll try to make it.