Bay Crab Chowder with Corn

As the weather turns cooler, thoughts turn to… chowder! Since I used one can of crab for the appetizer, I will use the other can of crab meat for… you guessed it, chowder! You can’t just buy one can of crab… or at least I can’t. Add it to some chicken broth and milk, with some corn, and a shake or two of Old Bay seasoning, and you can make a simple Chesapeake Bay style staple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 leaf McCormick® Bay Leaves

Heat butter and oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and bay leaf; cook and stir 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Add corn and crabmeat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

corn-crab-chowder-finished-1

Canned Crab Salsa

Yup, that’s no auto-correct gone wild. I make this crab salsa as an appetizer. I slice a baguette into quarter inch slices and toast it just a little and then top them with this crab salsa and serve with a Duck Walk white wine… seems I often have a good supply of white wine around here….

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces of crab meat
  • 3 tomatillos diced
  • 2 chilies minced
  • 2 tsp minced fresh epazote
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

simply combine all these in a mixing bowl. Now, here’s a good handy hint… roll the lime on a good hard cutting board before extracting the juice, and you’ll get more juice out of the lime. Top the toasts and serve it up.

BaltimoreCrabLogo

Eggs in a Skillet Long Island Style

Now that we know the difference between a frittata and an omelet, lets make a more Long Island style frittata. Frittatas, like omelet can contain just about anything you could want to put in there. For this ‘Long Island’ variant we’ll use fresh local scallions for the vegetable and lump crab meat. Just before transferring the frittata from the stove to the broiler, sprinkle the top with some fresh thyme.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • ¼ pound of crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting so that we can set the top of the frittata.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, scallions, crab, pepper, and salt.

Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Let this cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with thyme.

Place pan into the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

frittata

Mushrooms stuffed with Crab

This makes a nice warm appetizer. A small serving tray of these will disappear in no time at all. Yes, agaricus bisporus, the common white, or button mushroom gets invites to all the parties because he’s a fungi… ok, it’s a notoriously bad pun, but, unlike crab stuffing,  I use it sparingly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 30 large mushrooms
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 2 lg. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c. parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened

Combine ingredients (except mushrooms) to make the stuffing mixture.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and sauté the stems in butter and add them to the stuffing mixture.

Stuff the caps with the stuffing. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool a bit before getting them on the tray and out to the guests.

crabstuffedmushroom

Tortellini with Crab Sauce

Pasta and sauce, a simple combination that can have so many different variations on the theme. Well, this one is inspired in part by a Sicilian sauce I had at a little Italian place. There are no anchovies in this version however (perhaps next time we’ll add the little salt bombs).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 rashers of thick cut bacon
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Dash of pepper

Remove any shell and cartilage from the crab meat. Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and bacon until the bacon has been fairly well rendered and the veggies are tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, and a dash of sea salt and pepper. Simmer this for about a half an hour getting the sauce to meld together. Then, add the crab meat and heat through. Serve this over your favorite pasta but I really like this over cheese tortellini.

tortellini-chunky-tomato-sauce

Stuffed Flounder

Canned crab meat is a great shortcut in making so many recipes where the crab is being used as an accompaniment. I usually don’t use the canned if I’m using crabmeat as a standalone, like stuffed crab salad. Although when I’m making a crab – corn chowder, I can go either way. But with this recipe, canned crabmeat for the stuffing is a great way to use canned crabmeat when you run across a good sale on it.

  • 4 pounds whole flounder – cleaned, rinsed and dried
  • 1 pound crabmeat, shredded
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a large casserole dish or a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Stir in onion, green onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft. Then remove pan from heat and stir in shredded crabmeat, seasoning, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

Now, rub the flounder skin and cavity with butter. Stuff the cavity with crab mixture and place in prepared pan. Bake this for 30 minutes, or until flesh is firm and white at the thickest part of the fish.

The more adventurous cook will take the flounder head, put it in a pot of water with some celery trimming, left over onion ends, top and bottom of the green pepper that would otherwise been thrown out and other aromatics lying around, perhaps one of those soy sauce packets from the Chinese take-out, and make a fish stock. Then you use the fish stock to make couscous to serve with the flounder.

Crabby Scrambled Eggs

A nice coastal brunch item combines leftover crab meat and eggs. I know, I know, who has leftovers, but it does occasionally happen… I’ve seen it on TV so it must be true. But, if you were making say, a crab salad, and you can reserve an couple of ounces, this is a nice morning-after treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 medium or large eggs
  • 2 ounces of crab meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped tarragon
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • tablespoon of butter

Beat eggs and tarragon in a small bowl and set it aside. Sprinkle the crab meat with the cayenne pepper. Now, melt the butter in nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add crab; cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in egg mixture; increase heat to medium and scramble the eggs, stirring constantly, until nearly set, 3 to 4 minutes.

Now, remember, don’t cook the eggs all the way, nearly set. The eggs should finish their cooking after you’ve removed the pan from the heat. Otherwise the eggs will be over-cooked. Overcooked eggs will ring-out all their moisture after you plate them up.

crab scrambled eggs

crab scrambled eggs

 

Tomatoes Stuffed with Crab

Hazy Hot and Humid… So, yesterday I mentioned making a chicken salad stuffed tomato. Well, I decided to stop off at the fish shop on the way home and got a great deal on crab meat. So, instead of chicken salad stuffed tomatoes, I made crab salad for them. I like to make these easy meal items that go straight from the fridge to the plate on these hazy, hot, humid days.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 fist sized ‘slicing’ tomatoes
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 rib celery
  • 2 spring leeks
  • two tablespoons mayo
  • sea salt and pepper

Start by cutting the crab meat into modest chunks. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the crab meat. Take a butter knife and shave off some of the lime pulp into the crab meat. Combine this thoroughly. Then add the minced celery and onion, then cut the leeks lengthwise and chiffonade and add the shreds to the crab. Now, add the mayo and mix thoroughly.

Take each tomato and hollow them out. I usually fine that one of those serrated grapefruit spoons works well for this task. Save the innards for making salsa, or chunked into a side salad. Now, stuff the crab salad into the tomato and store them in the fridge till you are ready to serve them up.

Tomato Stuffed with Crab

Crab Scramble

Brunch, I’ve been asked about brunch with seafood. One thing that I like to whip up for a late morning, early afternoon brunch is crab scramble. Its fairly easy to make, the secret is to remove physically remove the pan from the heat before the eggs are cooked through. The residual heat on the pan itself will finish the cooking while bring the eggs to the plate. If you have ever whipped up scrambled eggs and put them on a plate and had tight crumbles of egg surrounded by water, it is because the eggs are over done. The excess heat in those eggs is what wrings the water out of the protein. If you remove the pan from the heat before the eggs are cooked through, you will have eggs that retain their moisture.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 jumbo or 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lump crabmeat
  • ¼ red pepper diced
  • ¼ onion diced

Melt the butter in a good frying pan. Saute the pepper and onion, then add the crabmeat and continue cooking till the crab is slightly browned. Now break the eggs into a measuring cup or pourable bowl and whisk them up with the milk. Add this to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Stir with a spatula using a folding action. As soon as the egg curds start firming up, remove the pan from the heat. Continue folding for a minute, then portion the scramble onto the plates.

This goes nicely with Mimosas.

mimosa with crab scramble

Crab Salad w Spring Leeks

From the sustainable seafood section; here’s a salad that works well by itself, or as a filling for a picnic sandwich. It uses those wonderfully sweet spring leeks that seen so plentiful at H-Mart, the local Asian market, and the crab meat on sale at Western Beef. So, grab some crab and a lime and lets get cracking.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 lime
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 spring leeks
  • two tablespoons mayo
  • sea salt and pepper

Start by cutting the crab meat into modest chunks. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the crab meat. Combine this thoroughly. Then cut the leeks lengthwise and chiffonade. Add the shreds to the crab. cut the red onion into fine shreds and add this too. Now, add the mayo and mix thoroughly.

A simple salad that stands on its own, or nestled inside a kaiser roll. Take it along on your next picnic.