Don’t get crabby! Saving an epic fail


We all make mistakes, especially in the kitchen.  But it’s what you do with those mistakes that separates the cooks from the spectators.

A couple days ago, I made a crab casserole from this recipe.  I am not faulting the recipe here, but my method.

Here are the ingredients as listed in the recipe:

  • 1 pound crab meat
  • ½ cup milk (or non-dairy equivalent)
  • 3 slices of gluten-free bread (see notes)
  • 1 ½ – 2 tbsp prepared mustard (I use Dijon)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea & Perrins)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter or non-dairy equivalent, melted (this is half the original amount and you might even cut back a little more)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp – 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning (or similar, to taste)
  • Paprika (for sprinkling on top)

Ok-here’s what I did, and possibly where I went wrong:

I used can crabbed, and it was only 12 oz.  I used seven slices of gluten free bread-there was way too much liquid after using three slices. There was still a lot of liquid after I added all of that bread.  I did follow the rest of the recipe.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beat eggs slightly in bowl.
Crumble bread into pieces; add to eggs in bowl.
Pour milk over bread, and gently stir all together.
Add and mix all ingredients (except paprika).
Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish (about 1 ½ qts).
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake until knifes comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

I used three eggs-two would probably been sufficient.  I baked the casserole in a much smaller dish and only baked it for about 25 minutes.  So, too much bread, too much liquid, and you have-mush.  We ate it, but I thought maybe I could save it.

So tonight, instead of crying over mushy crab, I made crab cakes out of the remaining casserole.  I used lots and lots of bread crumbs to absorb the moisture, shaped the cakes, put them on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzled with oil and baked at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes.

Hey, now they were edible!  In fact, they were pretty darn good.  Nice save, as my hubby said.

Should this ever happen to you with a recipe, don’t be crabby!  Find a way to reuse or reinvent the disaster.  Sometimes you just can’t salvage a bad recipe or bad outcome, but sometimes you can.  Don’t be afraid to fail!  It happens to the best of us.

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