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Peak-season crab offers a taste of summer—fresh from the bay

Peak-season crab offers a taste of summer—fresh from the bay

A stack of hot crabcakes splashed with spicy cocktail sauce will liven up a weeknight dinner. And leftover crabmeat sandwiched in brioche buns with lettuce, onion and tomato also make a delectable lunchtime entrée. Sparkling wine or a bright, aromatic sauvignon blanc pairs nicely with this pan-fried favorite.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, blue crabs are one of the most important commercial and recreational catches in the Chesapeake Bay. Blue crabs typically are harvested in Virginia between mid-March and late November. Chesapeake blue crab is famous for its sweet, delicate flavor and tender meat—perfect for crabcakes, dips, bisques, chowders and salads.

Blue crab also is a good source of high-quality protein, with each 3-ounce portion providing more than 17 grams. Blue crab is a source of vitamin B12 and minerals too.
And did we mention it’s delicious?

Chesapeake Blue Crabcakes

2 cups Chesapeake jumbo lump crabmeat
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons mayonnaise-type salad dressing
dash of seafood seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup vegetable shortening
lemon slices and capers for garnish

Mix crabmeat and bread crumbs. Sauté onions in butter, and mix with crabmeat. Add beaten egg, salad dressing and seasonings. Mix well, and shape into 10 cakes. Chill. In a large frying pan, heat vegetable shortening, and fry cakes until brown on both sides. Garnish with a spicy sauce, lemon and capers.

Source: Neva W. Muse of Westmoreland County, Virginia Farm Bureau Country Treasures

Garnet’s Crabmeat Dip

1 pound lump crabmeat
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
8 ounces sour cream
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper
juice of half a lemon
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 325°. Mix all ingredients together except the cheese. Pour mixture into a baking dish, and top with the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers.

Source: Barbara Blythe of Southampton County Farm Bureau in What’s Cooking, 2010 Administrative Support Conference Cookbook