Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Crab Redux

DucCat was only gone for one night. When he returned home, there was still a pound of crab to deal with. "Why not make deviled crab?" he suggested.

While purchasing the fresh crab meat, the vendor also had a hand-lettered sign touting deviled crab cakes. I'd never eaten nor heard of one before, and asked the woman what exactly they were. With a large smile, she listed off several tasty sounding ingredients... at this point, I only remember cayenne, paprika, breadcrumbs, butter, all stuffed back into a crabshell for baking and presentation. DucCat and I glanced at each other with a smile. "We'll take four," he grinned. The woman shook her head, though: they had already sold out.

Since this was a classic dish from my husband's childhood, once home, I pulled out an old, tattered cookbook by the name of "Old Dominion Life Member Cookbook". Amongst the many recipes compiled by home cooks across Virginia, I finally came across an appropriate-sounding deviled crab recipe. There was a little tweaking, including preparing the recipe as crab cakes, instead of baked. Then, that first taste of deviled crab. Pronounced spiciness eased comfortably into the mellow freshness of the crab. Tremendously good stuff, this.

Deviled Crab
from the Old Dominion Life Member Cook Book

2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 cups crab meat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 cup buttered bread crumbs (or just use plain fresh, if making into cakes)

Melt butter, add flour. Stir in milk slowly to make a sauce. Add remainder of ingredients to crab meat, mix well. Stir into sauce. Put into crab shells; sprinkle buttered crumbs on top. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

s'kat's notes: I posted the spices as tweaked, but you may want to back off on the cayenne a bit; to me, it was just right. Also, I used fresh breadcrumbs to gently form into cakes, then pan-fried in butter over medium heat until done.


Blogger Kevin said...

Oh yeah! BTW, is you refrigerate the cakes for 30 - 60 minutes they aren't quite so delicate during cooking.

May 18, 2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Those look sinfully tasty - I wish I could get my hands on some affordable crab up here! Maybe I can make devilled salmon cakes instead.

May 18, 2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

One of the more guilty pleasures I still enjoy from being a little kid is Deviled Ham. This seems like a much better way to have some devil in my life :)

May 19, 2006 8:07 AM  
Blogger iamchanelle said...

hi s'kat! thanks for the "happy cheen-kway anniversary" wishes - hahaha! i posted a rather long reply to your question this morning in my comments, if you have a minute....

have a GREAT day!

May 19, 2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Wow they look beautiful and definitely a dish I plan on making soon.

Thanks for sharing

May 19, 2006 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Tania said...

These sound scrumptious; how I love the phrase "panfried in butter" ... Beautiful presentation, too. I am seriously coveting that gorgeous platter!

May 20, 2006 9:30 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Kevin, some days I am patient, but most, not so much. Always something to work towards, right?

MeBeth, that sounds like a wonderful substitution.

Wmm- never had it, but I'm sure it's just as delicious. Wait a minute, that's pork, so perhaps more so!

iac- all caught up!

Ruth, I certainly hope you enjoy these.

Tania, thank you. The platter is our everyday wear, but it was also our selection for wedding 'china'. We wanted something we could use everyday.

May 20, 2006 7:50 PM  

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