Crab feast sides

Most Marylanders love a crab feast.  Picking crabs is a leisurely activity, you pick, you talk, you eat.  We have only had crabs once this summer and are looking forward to a fun evening with good friends and delicious crabs.  The one thing about picking crabs is that you don’t usually get full from the crabmeat.  (You usually get bored before you get full.)  You need some side dishes.  Corn is always popular.  So are deviled eggs and potato salad.  (And brownies for my friend Jack!)

Deviled eggs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1.4 tsp dry mustard (more if you want them spicier)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
Place eggs in a pot just big enough to hold them and add water to cover.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to just simmering and cover for 17 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cold water and ice cubes to stop cooking.  Chill eggs in refrigerator.  Peel eggs and cut in half.  Put yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill egg whites with filling and top with additional paprika.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Potato Salad
There are lots of recipes for potato salad and I like most of them but once I discovered this one, it is my default.
  • Red potatoes, 3 pounds
  • scallions, 1 bunch thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper
Boil potatoes until tender.  Let cool until you can handle and then chop potatoes.  Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice (adjust to your taste) and toss over potatoes.  Add sliced scallions and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Brownies

  • 4 ounces Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (NOTE: They recently changed their packaging – it used to be a box with 8 squares, 1 oz each.  Now it is a box with a four ounce breakable bar.)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt chocolate, butter and sugar over low heat.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Stir in flour, eggs and vanilla.  Transfer to a 10 x 14 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 22 minutes.  (You can halve the recipe and cook in a smaller square baking pan.)  Remove from oven and let sit in pan for at least an hour before cutting.  You will never bother with a mix again.  I have discovered by accident that these are even better if you make them and freeze them.  When you thaw them they are even fudgier.  So I made a big batch yesterday and when they were completely cool, I wrapped up 3 separate packages of about 12 brownies each.  I’ll get one out this afternoon for tonight and it’s nice knowing that if we have a friend over for dinner, there is always a dessert in the freezer ready to go.

4th of July Crabfeast

Our traditional 4th of July picnic with my in-laws is a crab feast.  We catch the crabs and steam them ourselves.  When you catch them, steam them and pick them you gain a new appreciation for why crabmeat is expensive.  We’ll supplement with corn on the cob, deviled eggs and potato salad.  This year I’m going to make two-berry buckle since it is red, white and blue.

Deviled eggs
Everyone loves these so plan on each person eating at least two.
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
Place eggs in a pot just big enough to hold them and add water to cover.  Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to just simmering and cover for 17 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cold water and ice cubes to stop cooking.  Chill eggs in refrigerator.  Peel eggs and cut in half.  Put yolks in a bowl and mash with a fork.  Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and mayonnaise.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Fill egg whites with filling and top with additional paprika.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Potato Salad
There are lots of recipes for potato salad and I like most of them but once I discovered this one, it is my default.
  • Red potatoes, 3 pounds
  • scallions, 1 bunch thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper
Boil potatoes until tender.  Let cool until you can handle and then chop potatoes.  Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice (adjust to your taste) and toss over potatoes.  Add sliced scallions and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Two berry buckle
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp alt
  • 1 pt blueberries (rinsed and checked for stems)
  • 1 pt raspberries (rinsed and patted dry)
Crumb topping
  • 1/2 stick cold butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • zest from 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 10 or 11 inch gratin dish.
Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer.  Add eggs one at  time and beat.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until blended.  Fold in fruit carefully and put batter into greased gratin.
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, combine all ingredients until coarsely crumbled.  Spread evenly over batter.
Bake about 45 minutes until golden brown and set.  Cool on a wire rack and serve (ice cream optional!)  Doesn’t that look festive!
Red white and blue dessert for the 4th

Red white and blue dessert for the 4th