Craig’s dad Steve has opinions about the title of this post. “Well,” he says, “if people like it, great. If they don’t, tell them it’s not my recipe.”
I have no qualms about calling these the world’s best crab cakes. Here’s my evidence: 1. The crab is freshly caught Dungeness crab; 2. That crab is cooked in sea water; 3. The crab cake itself is composed mostly of that crab; and 4. The man who makes them has the following sign in his kitchen.
Any time I’ve ever made deviled eggs, I’ve basically spooned a gloppy mayo-yolk mixture into floppy egg whites and masked the ugliness with either smoked paprika (see here) or weird garnishes (see my Deviled Eggs Three Ways). The problem was always that filling: never stiff enough to pipe, always wet enough to spoon. This time around, I decided to change my game by deferring to a master chef’s technique; that would be April Bloomfield’s.
Jimmy Fallon likens it to pus. Last night at dinner, the idea of it made Craig’s cousin Katie scrunch up her face in disgust. And me? I used to have nightmares about this female camp counsellor with a hairy lip who ate an egg salad sandwich with dabs of mayo stuck all along the perimeter of her lips. Just thinking about it now makes me cry a little on the inside.
What is it about mayonnaise that provokes such disgust and fear in so many people? And what can they do to get over it? Allow me to speak from personal experience.
Infomercials rarely inspire awe, and yet I vividly remember watching a commercial for a handblender–this was back in the 90s, I think–that showed a glass jar filled with eggs and oil; then the hand blender plunged in, the host pressed a button, and magically it became mayonnaise. It was like watching a David Copperfield special only better: while I couldn’t make the Statue of Liberty disappear, I could buy a handblender and make mayonnaise in a jar. The only catch: I hated mayonnaise. So a handblender I didn’t buy.
Because we had some technical issues with the first broadcast of “Someone’s In The Kitchen With…”, I’m afraid many of you missed Rachel Wharton’s very winning recipe for pimento cheese. As you can see by the picture, this is a pimento cheese to be reckoned with: it’s spicy, it’s tangy, it’s creamy, it’s fluffy and it’s very, very hard to stop eating. (Cholesterol be damned.) So for those who missed the video, here’s how you make it.
There’s a lot of hubbub in New York, lately, about lobster rolls. Apparently there’s a glut of lobsters (see this New York Magazine article) and new lobster shacks are sprouting up all over the city. My loyalty, as always, belongs to Pearl Oyster Bar which makes the best lobster roll I’ve ever had. But did you know that its chef, Rebecca Charles, once taught me how to make her signature lobster roll for a video Craig and I did for Serious Eats? And did you know that, since then, I’ve made several more lobster rolls–always marveling at how easy it is? Because it is, indeed, very easy. And with lobsters really cheap right now in New York ($5.99 a pound at Citarella) this may turn out to be something you’ll want to do at home too.
Growing up, I hated mayonnaise and I hated cheese. Strange for a kid, yes, but the cheese-hatred had some basis: my dad hated it, so we never had it in the house. And I became so conditioned to hating cheese, it took me years (and a cheese-loving boyfriend) to get over it. As for the mayo, that was entirely my own thing: nothing repulsed me more. The gummy, gooey whiteness mortified me; nothing could ruin a sandwich faster than spreading mayo on it first. I could abide it in coleslaw and tuna salad because I didn’t see it go in, but a turkey sandwich with gloppy mayo on top? To this day, I’d say “no.” So imagine how repulsed I’d be if, as a wee lass, you’d presented me with a Southern delicacy known as “pimento cheese”–cheddar cheese mixed with mayo and chopped up pimentos. I might’ve, to use an elegant verb from my childhood, hurled.