Where Blue Crabs Are King

crab on beach
Photo by Alexsandro Rosa de Mello on Pexels.com

I may have mentioned one day last week in passing that crabs are a staple of Eastern Shore cuisine. They’re partaken of more than once in the three books comprising The Delaneys of Delaware boxed set which will be releasing later this week. It seems whenever there’s a celebration, the folks of slower lower drag out the crab pots, the Old Bay, and the deep fryers. Today I wanted to share with you a few crab recipes, that use real crab not that fake junk, and that I’ve grown fond of since marrying the love of my life who hails from the Eastern Shore.

Maryland Crab Cakes…If I had a dollar for every granny’s secret recipe, I’d be rich! While everyone may have a secret ingredient, the basics never waiver. This is my tried and true recipe cobbled together over the years from tries and fails until I got it right.

1 pound of lump crab meat (no it is not cheap these days)

Handful of bread crumbs, I use Panko

1 egg (farm fresh if possible)

1/8 C real mayonnaise

1 tsp yellow mustard

Old Bay seasoning to taste

Salt/pepper to taste

Mix the wet ingredients together, add the dry, fold in the crab meat last, carefully. Make patties. Refrigerate until firm. Pan fry in avocado oil. Serve with cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, or my husband’s favorite condiment, spicy mustard.

Crab Salad…Delicious on a hot summer day with a glass of white whilst sitting beside the river watching the fish flop up.

1-pound lump crab meat

1 celery stalk, diced

¼ red onion, diced fine

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

½ C real mayonnaise

Fresh dill, salt/pepper, and Old Bay to taste

Combine, toss, inhale. Or if you’re civilized, serve on a nice roll.

Maryland Crab Soup…Delicious on a cool autumn evening with a nice hunk of crusty bread and the love of your life.

2 cans of stewed tomatoes

1 can baby lima beans

1 can corn

1 can sliced carrots

1 pound of lump crab meat

1 stalk celery, diced

1 small white onion, diced

1 T oil

4-6 cups beef broth

Salt/pepper to taste

Old Bay seasoning to taste

Sautee the onion and celery until translucent in a soup pot. Add in everything except for the crab meat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Cut the heat off and add the crab meat in last so it doesn’t break up. Yum!

Hot Crab Dip…Lawd, have mercy, y’all! You will want to slather yourself in this like it’s a beauty treatment. I don’t advise that. Slather it instead on slabs of toasted crusty bread.

8 ounces of cream cheese, brought to room temperature

¼ C real sour cream

¼ C real mayonnaise

2-3 good size scallions chopped

1 C good shredded cheese, your choice (I’ve used cheddar, smoked cheddar, mozzarella, or a combination. I’ve often been heavy handed in that cup measurement.)

Squeeze of lemon juice

Good dash of garlic powder

Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce

Good dash of paprika

Dash of hot sauce (several dashes if you like it hot!)

Salt/pepper to taste

Old Bay seasoning to taste

1-pound lump crab meat

Combine all ingredients, reserving half the cheese. Transfer to a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350* until hot and bubbly.

Last, but certainly not least…

Eastern Shore Crab Boil

1 huge pot

As many pounds of fresh blue crab as you can get your hands on

Water

Old Bay seasoning

Fill the pot with the crabs, add water and as much Old Bay seasoning as you think your guests can take. Boil about ten minutes. Serve family style on brown paper sacks on the picnic table. This is where your crab picking ability comes to the test. Sides normally served include grilled corn on the cob, hush puppies, homestyle green beans and greens, and Cole slaw.

Consequently, I’m terrible at picking crabs. My husband normally picks mine for me so I don’t take a finger off or starve to death attempting to get enough meat out of the little buggers to eat. Hope one of these Eastern Shore delights tickle your fancy. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Where Blue Crabs Are King

    1. Hi Chris! I really do love crab boil, but I have to admit, I don’t eat them unless my husband is near. I’m simply no good at picking crabs and would starve before getting enough meat extracted to eat! Crab cakes I’m a pretty good hand at making, and eating. No picking required. Much easier! You can get the Old Bay from Amazon for a pretty reasonable price. You should give it a try! I’ve seen people from the Delmarva sprinkle it on everything.

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