Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 15.53.54

I’m Not Crabby, but My Dinner Is

You know it’s crab season when the nice table linens are replaced with yesterday’s newspaper. Anyone living within a day’s drive of the Chesapeake Bay has a special appreciation for crab that is only paralleled by France’s passion for cheese. These days, Maryland-style crab cakes pop up on menus from Toledo to Tucson. Personally, I’d much rather try that city’s specialty, but I like knowing the crab cake has fans from sea to shining sea. Blue Crab is the usual choice for Mid-Atlantic cuisine since the crabs have taken a liking to the Chesapeake Bay. The Blue Crab also has a fancier name, Callinectes sapidus. The first part means beautiful swimmer in Greek and the second part means savory in Latin. Though Blue Crab is local, many other types of crab (eg, Dungeness, Snow, Alaska King) are available thanks to the marvels of modern-day shipping efficiency. In general, all crabs should be eaten within 24 hours if raw or live and within 48 hours if cooked. Whether it’s a hot day or a chilly evening, this week’s recipes pay homage to the savory Blue Crab. Without hesitation, the Chesapeake Crab Cakes are the first listed in the column and the first to disappear from a dinner plate. If you can’t get to Chincoteague Island or Maryland’s Eastern Shore, then this recipe will take you there! Cool off with Crab & Avocado Salad, which has a tangy citrus dressing that is barely there so you can enjoy the natural flavor of the crab with the smooth avocado to balance out the spice. A crab column wouldn’t be complete without Maryland Crab Soup. This recipe went through rigorous critiques to become what it is today. Turn a snack or appetizer into a seaside experience with Kathy’s Crab Puffs. Easy to make, they’re an instant crowd pleaser.