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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Crab Cakes and Dill Sauce

It's no secret I'm a terrible photographer.  Just scroll through my blog and you'll find proof.

Yesterday, I thought I would work on my skills and attempt to photograph some of my deck plants.  This was the first (and only) photo I took:

When I was looking through the viewfinder, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, it's so sunny I can hardly see."
Yep, not only am I a terrible photographer, I'm a clueless one as well.

I snapped the photo, then pulled it up onto the screen to check it and thought, whaaat......turns out my lens was all fogged because it was so humid out.  Note to self: allow the camera a little bit of time to adjust to the temperature change on a hot and humid day after it's been sitting in an air-conditioned house.

Live and learn.

 Temps were about 10 degrees higher today, but there was less humidity so I was able to get the shots of my flowers before they die.

Because they ARE going to die.

Killing plants is another one of my specialties.

You'll notice that my containers are heavy on the moss rose (portulaca), which is sun-loving yet drought-tolerant.  My kind of container plant!

I've been cutting my dahlias to take into my house.  It seems that every bloom that I cut is quickly replaced by two more.  I cut all of these and took them into my house.

 I love how perfect they look when they are wide open!

I sat down to write this blog post and my shadow, Clyde, sat down next to me and then promptly fell asleep.

He is at an age where he is never willing to sit for me to photograph him.  So I grabbed a photo while he was sleeping.  And the whir of the camera woke him up,  Oops.

I'm sure if he could speak, he'd be saying, "Huh?  Why'd ya wake me?  It's only my 13th nap today."  And if he could speak, I am sure that his voice would sound exactly like Homer Simpson's.  That's the voice that I imagine in my head when I imagine him talking.  Sort of a dopey voice, because he's a dopey dog.

NOT that I hear voices in my head.  Only Clyde's voice.  The voice that I imagine he would have if he could speak.

I'll stop now.  And give you today's recipe, inspired by the fabulous crab meat that I bought from the seafood vendor at the farmers market.  Crab Cakes and a yummy dill sauce.

Today's Playlist
  • "Sixteen Saltines"......Jack White
  • "Mr. Brightside".....The Killers
  • "Don't Let Go".....Weezer
  • "Dani California".....Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Joker & The Thief"......Wolfmother
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket......Cake"
  • "Self Esteem".......The Offspring
  • "Hate To Say I Told You So"....The Hives

Crab Cakes with Dill Sauce (makes 4 crab cakes)
Printable Recipe

(crab cakes)
  • 1/2 lb. crab meat, picked over
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
flour, for dusting
1 tablespoon olive oil, for sauteing

(dill sauce)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk (or make your own with milk and lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Prepare the dill sauce.

Gather your ingredients.  I didn't have buttermilk so I'm going to make my own with milk and lemon juice.

I'm glad Gus is in this picture.  After posting those pictures of Clyde and talking about his Homer Simpson voice, I feel like it's only right that Gus gets some representation.  And I'll let you know that when I hear the voice of Gus in my head, he sounds just like Denis Leary doing stand-up.  Rapid-fire delivery and sarcastic.

Now, back to our recipe.

Juice the lemon.

Make the buttermilk.  Start with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.....

and add 5 1/2 teaspoons of milk (that's 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons).  Let it sit while you zest your lemon.

After you've zested the lemon,

put 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon lemon juice,

the mayonnaise,

and the buttermilk (or milk and lemon juice mixture) into a bowl.

Chop the dill and chives,

and add them into the bowl as well.

Stir to combine.  Your sauce is done.  Refrigerate the sauce while you make the crab cakes.

To make the crab cakes:

Gather your ingredients.

Make your bread crumbs.  I just tear up a half of a sandwich roll and put it into my mini-prep food processor.

A few pulses later, voila!  Fresh bread crumbs.

If you don't want to make fresh bread crumbs, go ahead and use packaged dry breadcrumbs.  Decrease the amount, however; dry breadcrumbs will absorb a lot more liquid than fresh breadcrumbs will and your crab cakes will not be as moist.

Squeeze the extra water out of your crab meat.  To do this, I stack a couple of paper towels, dump the crab meat onto the paper towels,

wrap the crab meat with the paper towels and squish it so the paper towels absorb the moisture.
And then pick through the crab meat to make sure that there are no remnants of shells.

Place the crab meat into a bowl.

Add the breadcrumbs.

Chop the chives.  Add them to the bowl with the crab meat.

Add the mayo,

and a slightly beaten egg.

Add the lemon juice,


and garlic powder.

Mix to combine.  Form into four crab cakes, equal in size.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  You are only going to use enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, so the crab cakes won't stick.

Lightly dredge the crab cakes in flour.  One side, 

then flip and coat the other side.

Let them rest on a plate until the skillet and oil are hot.

Saute the crab cakes until they are lightly browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes.

Flip them over and and saute until the other side is browned, about 4 more minutes.

Serve immediately, topped with the dill sauce.



  1. Beautiful flowers and the dahlias are so pretty!! Oh my, has Clyde gotten so big and cute!! Such a sweet doggy!! Thanks for sharing your recipe, so yummy!! Happy 4th of July!! xo Heather

  2. Happy 4th of July Fran! We love crabcakes, my recipe is almost exactly the same, and will try yours. I'm excited to make your dill sauce recipe, sounds yummy! Mr. Retro puts out his crabpots and we catch our own Chesapeake bay crabs...there is lots of steamed crabs and crabcake eating at our house in the summer! I'll let you know the next time we're havin' crabs & beer & you can come over, ok? :)

    Always love seeing Gus & Clyde! They love to nap when we sit, don't they? Know they're not missing anything then. Always love your posts. Great photos by the way. I'm going to go pick my Dahlia's now! Thanks for that tip.

    1. Chesapeake Bay crabs??!! HOW LUCKY ARE YOU??!! My pitiful crab cakes pale in comparison to yours, I'm sure. :)

  3. I've heard of it being so humid that it fogs up the camera. WOW that's humid! Your flowers are gorgeous, and Clyde looks so soft and fluffy that he would make a nice pillow for taking naps with. But not in the summer!
    Happy 4th!

  4. Now all I can do is hear Clyde talking like Homer Simpson in my head. lol! Your flowers are gorgeous! I plant a lot of Portulaca in my galvanized containers because they can take the heat. The crab cakes look delish! I am pinning to try. Would love if you linked this to SYC.


I love to hear what you think!