Feeling Crabby?

5 recipes to kick off Chesapeake Bay crab season.

Steak oscar.

The Chesapeake Bay crab season began at the end of March, so we have definitely got delectable soft-shells on the brain. From soup, salad, and dip to a perfectly grilled filet and fresh pasta, here are a few of our favorite recipes to enjoy the crab days of spring and summer.

Steak Oscar

¼ pound lump crab
¼ cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons Duke’s mayo
⅜ tablespoon Old Bay
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon parsley
cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons pecorino Romano cheese, grated
hot sauce to taste
olive oil
sea salt
4 4-ounce tenderloin steaks

Mix all ingredients except steak, olive oil and sea salt, then gently fold in crab.

Roll steaks in olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. Grill to desired temperature. Top steak with crab. Broil until slightly caramelized, approximately 2 minutes.

Serves 4

Crab Dip

8 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
1 pound of crabmeat
1 tablespoon creamed style horseradish
2 tablespoon chopped sweet onion
salt to taste
cracker crumbs for topping (optional)

Combine the cream cheese and milk with a mixer. Fold in crab, onion, horseradish and salt, taking care not to break up the crab too much. Fill chafing dish with mixture and. Top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown on top.

Serve in heated chafing dish with crackers or toast points.

Serves 10

Virginia Crab Salad

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1 cup mayonnaise
1 lime, zested finely and juiced
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
1 can hearts of palm
2 avocados
2 oranges, peeled, segmented and scraped of all pith
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
salt and white pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together crabmeat, lime zest and juice, lemon zest and juice, mayonnaise, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together until ingredients are evenly distributed, taking care not to break up lumps of crabmeat. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Wash lettuce and dry on towels. Slice oranges, hearts of palm and avocado into small slices. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate, and place large scoop of crab salad on top, garnishing with oranges and hearts of palm. Serve chilled.

Crab melon soup.

Serves 4-6

Crab Melon Soup

1 cantaloupe, puréed
1 honeydew, puréed
8 ounces jumbo lump crabmeat

With each purée in a separate container, simultaneously pour both into separate sides of a soup bowl. Top each of four bowls with 2 ounces of crabmeat.

Serves 4 

Crab Ditalini Pasta

For crab:
2 pounds crabs

In a large pot with a strainer or steamer basket, bring 2 to 3 inches of water to a rapid boil. Place crabs in steamer and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from steamer, let cool and remove meat from shell.

For sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup diced yellow onions
¼ cup diced carrots
¼ cup diced celery
1 tablespoon diced garlic
2 tablespoons diced shallots
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
⅛  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 to 3-inch piece of orange peel for garnish

In a medium saucepan, melt the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the lobster shell and stir well. Add the flour, mix well, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Add stock, salt and cayenne, then simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until reduced to about 3 cups, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

For pasta:
Approximately 6 ounces fresh ditalini pasta

In a large pot, cook the pasta in well-salted boiling water for approximately 1 minute or until al dente. Drain, then mix with sauce and top with crab.

Serves 2
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