Quarter-Life Coaching: Sarah & Evan’s Perfect Crab Cakes
EVENT: Sarah & Evan Give BGSK a Lesson in Crab Cakes
MENU: Perfect Mini Crab Cakes with Chipotle Mayo and Corn-Pepper Relish; Lobster Rolls on Brioche; Squash Slivers with Truffle Salt and Lemon; Coronas; Mark Bittman’s Tofu Chocolate Pudding (chili powder omitted)
The first meal I ate with Sarah and Evan as an almost-couple was at Spitzer’s Corner, after we’d all been to hear Colson Whitehead read from Sag Harbor at McNally Jackson. When Evan was down for sharing the mac & cheese with Sarah, me, and Sarah’s friend Casey, Casey and I looked at each other: we knew he was a good egg.
But maybe Sarah took it all as a challenge, and after that, she seemed to get really into baking, bringing delicious, buttery sweets to most of our get-togethers even when Memorial Day was approaching and I begged her not to. Baking, like any other gateway drug, paved the way for slippage into more intense use–and soon Sarah was sauteing and roasting and making pizzas and casseroles.
It was the New Year’s Eve crab cakes, in the end, that stood out to us, and that made us invite ourselves over to be fed by Sarah and Evan once more. In these heady pre-Valentine’s Day days, we wanted to feature them on the blog not just as a cute couple, but as a couple who have really embraced cooking and entertaining in the same way we have: as something fun and productive to do, and as the best possible way of spending time with one another.
From Evan & Sarah’s kitchen, where we are lucky enough to eat crab cakes followed by lobster rolls, to yours,
Cara and Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOKS
1lb jumbo lump crab meat
1 egg, beaten
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce
½ lemon, juiced
½ cup finely crushed saltines (in a food processor)
Roughly chop the crab meat. Reserve half in a medium mixing bowl. In a small food processor, pulse the other half of the crab meat until it becomes shredded. Remove half of that meat and add it to the mixing bowl. With the remaining ¼, pulse again until the meat is very finely shredded and almost a paste. This will act as a binder for the cakes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, mayo, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and lemon juice. Add this to the crab mixture and toss gently with your hands until combined.
Add some of the crushed saltines slowly and gently mix until it begins to come together. You may not need all of the saltines, so test out the crab cakes for texture as you go.
Form the crab mixture into small, 1-inch cakes. Coat a large skillet with oil, and fry the cakes over medium-high heat until brown and crispy. Serve alongside chipotle mayo and corn-pepper relish (recipes follow).
½ cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1 tbsp adobo sauce (from the can)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
Puree the ingredients in a small food processor. This can be done up to a week in advance and kept refrigerated. Place in a small bowl or ramekin for dipping.
Corn & Pepper Relish
2 cups corn kernels
2 cups diced peppers (green, red, or orange)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
chili powder (optional)
1 lb lobster meat
2 tsp chopped scallion (green parts only)
½ tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp chopped chives
1 ½ stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp minced shallots
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ lemons, juiced
2 challah rolls, toasted (brioche would work as well)
Roughly chop the lobster meat into bite-sized pieces. Reserve half in a medium mixing bowl. In a small food processor, pulse the other half of the lobster meat until it becomes shredded. Remove half of the meat and add it to the mixing bowl. With the remaining ¼, pulse again until the meat is very finely shredded and almost a paste. This will act as a binder for the salad.
Add the scallion, tarragon, chives, celery, and shallots to the lobster mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Using your hands, toss the lobster mixture together with some of the mayo mixture (best done with two sets of hands on deck). Add as much of the mayo as you like until you reach your desired consistency—Sarah and Evan prefer it to be just lightly dressed. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Top each roll with a large spoonful of lobster salad and serve.