Go ahead and be crabby


Prayito/Wikimedia Commons

Dress up a crab cake with fresh greens as if you were making a salad.

Dinner as of this writing consisted of Dungeness crabs and steamed artichokes.

While my favorite way of serving and eating cooked crab is to crack open the shells and start eating, there are times when I prefer to use the crab meat in various recipes. A lot of people do not like shellfish and some folks like it but have allergies and can’t eat it. I would be very upset if I ever developed an allergy to any form of shellfish.

If you are a fan of crab meat, see if one of the following recipes looks like something you might want to make. Cooked whole crabs are often available in the seafood departments of large grocery stores at this time. I am not sure where they are coming from.

Happy eating.

Crab stuffed lobster tail

2 8-to-10-oz. lobster tails

6 ounces lump crab meat

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 teaspoon finely chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon finely chopped red bell pepper or roasted red pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Squeeze of lemon juice

4 ounces unsalted butter

1. For crab mixture: Mix mayonnaise, egg, sugar, Old Bay, peppers and parsley together and blend well. Gently mix with lump crab meat. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

2. For lobster prep: Melt butter. Split each lobster tail down the middle, being careful not to completely split the lobster. Pull the lobster meat out of the shell, leaving the end flap inside the shell. Fan the tail and bend it upwards until you hear a little snap, this will help keep the fanned tail in place. Push both sections of the shell together and place the split lobster on top of the shell. Spoon some of the butter over top of the lobster, place in a baking pan and into a 350-degree oven. Allow lobster to bake for 5 minutes so that the area you are stuffing will get partially cooked.

3. Adding stuffing: Remove lobster from oven after the partial cooking and dividing the crab mixture into two portions, stuff the top of the lobster tail, making a mound with the crab mixture. Return lobster to oven and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes until topping has a nice golden color. Remove stuffed lobster from the oven and spoon a bit more butter on the stuffed lobster. Can serve in or out of the shell. Makes 2 servings.

Crab cakes

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs, divided

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cans (6-oz. each) crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed (or equivalent from whole crab)

1 tablespoon butter

1. In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup bread crumbs, green onions, red bell pepper, egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder and cayenne; fold in crab meat.

2. Place remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Divide mixture into eight portions; shape into 2-inch balls. Gently coat in bread crumbs and shape into 1/2-inch-thick patties.

3. In a non-stick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add crab cakes; cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Makes 4 servings.

Crab enchiladas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

8 ounces lump crab meat

10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups enchilada sauce

10 flour tortillas, 7 or 8 inches in diameter

1. Preheat oven to 350. Pour oil into a 10- or 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapenos. Cook, stirring often, until onion is limp, about 5 to 8 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix crab, spinach, 2 cups of cheese, parsley, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne and onion mixture.

3. Spread about 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the crab mixture along the center of each tortilla, rolling tortilla around filling. Arrange filled tortillas in a single layer over the sauce. Top evenly with the remaining sauce and cheese.

4. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes. Makes 10 enchiladas.

Hot crab dip

1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated (medium or sharp, your choice)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound lump crab meat

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir together until combined and fold in lump crab meat.

2. Spread in a small casserole dish and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Serve with a sliced baguette or tortilla chips.

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