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Pan-Fried Crab Cakes Over Arugula + Spicy Bourbon-Citrus Cocktails

Happy Mother's Day to all of our friends, family and W+A followers who are mamas. We appreciate all you do! Sundays are the perfect day for us to catch up on some writing and food prep for the week. This past weekend I was inspired by an old lunch spot that my coworkers and I used to frequent called Bulls Head. During the summer season, they would prepare the most delicious summer salad of fresh greens topped with their homemade crab cakes. Since their closing, I knew I wanted to recreate their dish, so we did! Here's what you'll need for this super simple recipe, a perfect dish to serve while dining al fresco with friends.

  • 1 lb crab meat, jumbo lump/back fin
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup green onion, finely slice
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped, fresh or dried
  • 2/3 cup butter cracker crumbs
  • oil, for frying


 Transfer crabmeat into a colander then set aside to drain excess liquid. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together egg, mayonnaise, mustard garlic powder, paprika and salt until completely combined. Add bell pepper, green onion and parsley then stir to combine. Gently fold in drained crab meat until well coated. Once the crab is moistened, add cracker crumbs, gently folding until the crumbs are completely mixed in. Try to leave crab chunks as intact as possible. Cover mixture then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Form patties using ⅓ cup of the mixture at a time. When forming the patties, compress the mixture well, but don’t mash them together or they will become too dense. The mixture will be moist, but should hold together. If the mixture does not hold together, just add a bit more cracker crumbs. Place a large skillet over medium heat then add just enough oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Heat oil until it is shimmering, then gently place crab cakes into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan and work in batches if necessary. Fry crab cakes until dark golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from pan then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil. Add to your arugula or mixed greens and drizzle with homemade lemon vinaigrette. 

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon (1/4 cup)
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the oil, lemon, mustard, garlic together until combined. Add salt and pepper to  taste. Drizzle over crab cakes and salad. Cover any leftover for later use.

We decided to mix up a spicy summery cocktail that would pair nicely with our light meal. John had bourbon on had, so we decided to try our hand at a Spicy Bourbon-Citrus cocktail and boy was it tasty! Here is what you will need to get things started:

Ingredients: (makes 16 servings) 

-5 Fresno chiles, halved lengthwise, plus one whole for serving
-1.750 ml bottle of burbon (we used Gentleman's Jack)
-1 3/4 cups of dry vermouth 
-1 3/4 cups fresh grapefruit juice 
-1 cup of fresh lime juice 
- 1 cup of simple syrup
-limes and chiles for garnish 


Talk your bottle of bourbon and chill in a large pitcher. Slice your chiles into halves and make sure to remove all seeds. Let your chiles soak in your bourbon from 1-3 hours in the fridge. When ready to serve mix in grapefruit juice, lime juice vermouth and simple syrup into your pitcher. Pour over ice and garnish with chile half and lime wedge. This recipe will make up to 16 servings!


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