Bored and Crabby

I’m starting to feel the edges of boredom. It’s been almost a month since I’ve worked. The days are hot and lazy, and I legit had to think for a good long while about whether it was Tuesday or Thursday because I couldn’t be bothered to get off my lawn chair to find my phone to tell me. I’m a grass is greener kind of person– when I’m working 12+ hours days, I long for sleepy afternoons of doing nothing but watching my kid eat dirt at the park. When I’m not working, it takes approximately three weeks for me to start to go slightly insane and do things like worry I’ll never work again, contemplate giving it all up to move to Fiji, and recite monologues from Cabaret in front of my confused child.  The monotony is real. I may have dressed him in a bed sheet today and taken videos of him “haunting the house”. Maybe it means I’m in the right line of work because I do miss it so much when I’m not busy, or maybe it means I’m a hard-to-please princess who just wants it all. Oh, let’s be honest, it’s both.

Luckily, my husband Charlie is super chill about putting up with my crazy actory princessness. He reads lines with me and listens to me bitch when the part goes to someone else (yes, that does happen. I can’t believe it either). He takes me for fun dates when I need a distraction and lets me over-order, or when my kid has thrown a tantrum because I won’t let him use my hair as a skipping rope, he tells me to crack open a bottle of white and whisks our son out of the house so I can be alone. He’s really nice and extremely good looking. And because he is who he is, I love cooking for him. Plus, he’s the type of guy that no matter what I put on the table, he’s overjoyed and exclaims it’s the best <fill in the blank> he’s ever had, and who doesn’t want to cook for an audience like that?

Charlie’s major favourite thing besides catering to me is crab. He is a crab fiend. Where normal people eat chocolate cake for dessert, I’ve seen Charlie boil a whole crab and take it down morsel by morsel after having had a full meal. He’s also all outdoorsy and stuff and loves to take the boat to drop the crab trap and catch his own (seriously, he would win all of Survivor because he actually likes doing things the hard way), but that’s just way too much effort for me. If I’m going to make a crab dish, I prefer to trek to Whole Foods and purchase some that’s already been taken out of the shell, thanks.  I said I was bored, not hell bent on ruining my manicure.

I decided to try my hand at making some big beautiful crab cakes for us at home, and I have to say, these turned out so crazy good, I need to share them with you. It’s easy and fun and decadent enough to feel like you’re really having something special in your own dining room, or TV room which is where we be at most nights. I think you’re going to love these. I paired them with a red pepper coulis for dipping, which is a little lighter than tartar sauce and full of flavour, and a sweet summer salad.  Bonus: you can use leftover coulis to jazz up cooked rice or cous cous, or even as a condiment on a chicken burger. See what happens when I’m bored?  WE ALL BENEFIT.

Big Beautiful Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Coulis and Summer Salad

Crab Cakes:

1 lb of lump crab meat (I used dungeness)

1 russet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

2 stalks of celery, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1 egg, beaten

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

sea salt and pepper

1/3 cup flour

a handful of parsley, about 1/4 cup

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

Red Pepper Coulis

4 roasted red peppers from a jar

1/2 a small white onion, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

a handful of parsley, about 1/4 cup

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp red wine vinegar (you can use white wine vinegar here, too,  I don’t care. You do you.)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Summer Salad

2 cups arugula

1 cup pea shoots or micro greens

1 avocado, diced

1 heirloom tomato, diced

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup blueberries

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper


Make the crab cakes so they can chill in the fridge for awhile. Boil the chopped up potato in water until soft. Drain, and coarsely mash, so it’s still lumpy. Let it cool.

Pick gently through the crab meat for any bits of shell but leave the pieces nice and big and chunky. Add the egg, cayenne, paprika, celery, red pepper, mashed potato, parsley, and salt and pepper. Fold all of the ingredients together, and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make the coulis. Combine all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse until smooth, then add the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, then put it in a bowl and set aside.

Make the salad. Make a bed of arugula, then set the pea shoots or micro greens on top. Sprinkle the tomato and avocado over the top, blueberries, and then the feta cheese. For the dressing, whisk the dijon, honey, and vinegar together, then slowly add in the olive oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Wait to dress the salad until the crab cakes are done.

For the cakes, form the meat into four big honking thick patties. Roll gently in the flour to lightly coat. Heat a big frying pan over medium-high heat with the butter and olive oil. Fry the crab cakes about 5 minutes a side until golden brown. Squeeze the juice of the lemon all over them, turning them in the lemony sauce in the pan before taking them out to drain on a paper towel. Immediately sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt.

Dress the salad. To serve, place some salad on a plate, and top with the crab cakes and then drizzle the cakes with the coulis. Serve some more alongside for dipping. True love!

Serves 2


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie & I are kindred siblings. Crab is its own food group! Crab plus Potatoes? You’re a bad mama-jama! I’m all over this recipe!

  2. Adam says:

    God I wish I could get fresh crab here in the Midwest! Pro Life Tip btw: never eat seafood in the Midwest. That being said, you do such a good job with all of your recipes maybe a challenge would help?

    After being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis my diet has taken a major hit. See if you can come up with a tasty meal with THESE limitations: no gluten, onions or garlic. Let’s just get those out of the way because they are the arch villains of my new food-less world. Now remove anything in the dairy group, acidic foods like tomatoes literally eat right through my insides, leafy greens and the skins of most fruit are out as well as caffeine and alcohol so anything fun really. The Low FODMAP diet is basically my new religion so that is a good reference point as well as corn based products(corn chips all day every day) and rice is life. Thankfully meat is still on the menu so steak and potato meals are a staple!

    Anyways apologies for the absurdly long post, just thought I could help with your boredom and you could help my limited menu listings. My social media accounts used to be over flowing with posts of food I tried in random places as traveling and eating were my fav hobbies. But I do still have tea and I am excited to see you’ve started a great offering in that department! Pu-erh forever!

  3. John S says:

    Sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jerry B. Bagley says:

    Ms. Jewel Staite; I have been a fan of your acting for many years, especially Stargate Atlantis , but just watched again your role as Jenna in the Hallmark Movie Christmas Ornaments….you are creative and versatile , and it is OK to be bored upon occasion! 🙂 Enjoy your life and keep on making great characters come to life.

  5. Lydia says:

    Thanks for this recipe — made it tonight and it was delicious! I’m sure it would have been more delicious with fresh crab (my budget means I had to make do with canned), but I still loved all the different flavours.

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