Cheryl’s Cuisine: September 2019

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

Living in Northeast Pa. affords us the opportunity to travel to some great places for short trips.   This summer we traveled to Maryland when my husband had a craving for crab.   

81XHd2D7WuL._SL1500_Upon arriving  at Baltimore Harborplace, which we used to frequent years ago, we were dismayed at changes which have taken place since the riots.  In the past, we would go to the aquarium, watch the dolphin show (actually I dragged him), sit on the top deck of the harbor place watching the boats on the Chesapeake and  eat tapas from one of the many eateries in the harbor place.  

Gone are the many bars and eateries.  So, we got back in the car and headed to Annapolis. Annapolis has been one of our favorite destinations for years. Annapolis is alive day and night, loaded with tourists and military from the Naval Academy.  

We dined that evening at Ram’s Head Tavern and  before our trip home the next day we lunched at Middleton Tavern on the waterfront.  We wanted to make sure we had our fill of Maryland crab. 

 So I’ve collected some of the very best crab recipes for you to enjoy:  

Very Best Crab Cakes

Cheryl's crabcake1 large can (16  oz.) lump crab meat
3 slices white bread (process in food processor)
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
Butter

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix all ingredients together folding in crab meat so as to not break up lumps.  Spray glass baking dish with Pam. Put mounds of crab meat mixture (makes 8 large ones) onto baking dish.  Sprinkle with Old Bay and top each with a pat of butter. Bake 20 minutes.

Note:  I serve this with homemade Tartar Sauce.  PLEASE make your own. It takes only a few minutes, and it’s well worth it.  Here’s my recipe:

Tartar Sauce

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dill pickle relish
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. grated onion
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. capers, drained
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve with crabcakes or other seafood.

***

Chafing Dish Crab Dip

1 lb. fresh backfin crab meat, picked 
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. milk
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. horseradish
Dash hot pepper sauce
Salt and white pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
Dash paprika
3 Tbsp. sherry
Pinch of Old Bay seasoning
Crackers

Combine all ingredients except crackers and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Serve warm with crackers. Serves 10-12.

***

Crabmeat soupSouth River Club Crab Soup

2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper
1 lb. crab meat
1 cup cream
2 hard-boiled eggs
Sherry (a wine-glass full) or to taste

Melt butter and stir in flour. Add milk, salt, black and red pepper.  Stir until well heated and thickened. Add crab meat and cream. Heat well. Add eggs which have been either pressed through a sieve or processed finely in food processor.  Then add sherry. Serves 4.

***

Crab Meat Au Gratin

1/4 cup butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1/4 cup milk
1 cup light cream
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
16 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
2 Tbsp. grated onion
1 1/2 lbs. crab meat, picked over
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
Puff pastry shells or rice

Melt butter and stir in flour to make a white sauce.  When smooth, add milk, cream and wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick.  Add cheese, seasonings, mushrooms and onion. Stir until cheese melts. Fold in crab meat; then pour into greased baking dish.  Top with bread crumbs. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve over puff pastry shells or rice. Serves 6-8.

***

South River Crab Casserole

1 lb. crab meat, shell and cartilage removed
6 slices white bread, crusts removed
4 hard boiled eggs, grated or finely processed
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1-2 oz. jar chopped pimentos, drained
1/2 tsp. Old Bay/seafood seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 cloves pressed garlic
2 Tbsp. sherry
1/2 lb. grated Cheddar Cheese

Break bread into small pieces and put into a bowl.  Add eggs, milk, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, pimento, seasoning and sherry; mix well.  Fold crab meat into mixture and pour into a 13x9x2″ casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake in 350 oven for 40 minutes. May be prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight prior to cooking.  Serves 6.

***

Crab Roma

3 oz. cooked, cooled fettuccine or other pasta
1/2 cucumber
6 medium mushrooms
2 scallions, including greens
1/2 medium red or green pepper
1 medium tomato
2 hard boiled eggs
1 cup lump crab meat, picked over
Vinaigrette Dressing

Cook fettuccine or other pasta according to directions.  Rinse well in cold water and refrigerate or let it stand out , making sure it is well drained before serving.  Peel cucumber and slice. Slice mushrooms. Chop scallions, green pepper, tomato and eggs; place in large bowl along with pasta.  Mix well and add dressing. Fold in crab meat. Serves 2-4.

Vinaigrette Dressing

1 pint olive oil
1 pint red wine vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients well and put in jar.  Make at least one day ahead. Shake well before serving.  Makes 4 cups.

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