So last weekend I went to the Key School Book Fair, where Mary Lou Baker was giving a brief talk about her book A Seafood Lover’s Chesapeake Bay. Mary Lou is a very friendly, incredibly genuine and generous person, and in the spirit of finding someone wonderfully decent in this crazy, indecent world, I thought of how nice it would be to hear her story. You can read about our rendezvous here.
She allowed me to include a couple of recipes from the book in the paper and on the blog. You can have 3. But I encourage you to buy the book, which not only has a ton of information on the many little towns that dot Maryland’s Chesapeake region, but also tidbits about cool people, festivals, events and places to go in the region. Plus 100+ Maryland seafood recipes!
First: a drink. File this under “A Marylander’s Must Have Conversation-Starter”
Harrison’s Famous Oyster Shooter
Recipe Courtesy of Harrison’s Harbor Watch, Ocean City, MD
- 1 Chesapeake Bay oyster, shucked, natural likker reserved
- 2 oz chili-infused Finlandia vodka
- 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 1 1/2 oz cocktail sauce
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes black pepper
- 1/4 lemon wedge
- Place shucked oyster, including likker, in a small rocks glass.
- Pour chilled vodka over ice in a cocktail shaker
- Combine vodka and all other ingredients except the lemon wedge in the glass with the oyster. Stir well and garnish with lemon wedge.
NOTE: to make the chili-infused vodka, add 7 hot dried chili peppers (chile de arbor are recommended) to 1 liter of Finlandia vodka. Let infuse for 2 weeks. Vodka will naturally take on a golden amber color when ready.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (a sacred recipe in my humble opinion)
Recipe courtesy of Ken Upton, Ken’s Creative Kitchen, Annapolis, MD
- 1 lb jumbo lump Maryland crabmeat
- 1 egg
- 1 TB Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade with lemon would be great)
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1/4 ts pepper
- 1/4 -1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- Carefully pick over crabmeat to remove cartilage and bits of shell. Set aside.
- Combine egg, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the crabmeat to the mayonnaise mixture and stir until combined. Add enough bread crumbs to form a sticky mixture.
- Shape the mixture into 4 crab cakes and sauté in a buttered skillet over medium heat until golden brown.
Carolyn’s Crab-Shrimp Dip
recipe courtesy of Blue Crab Cafe, Crisfield, MD
- 3 heaping TB backfin crabmeat
- 4 large shrimp, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Pimiento-spread cheese
- 3 shakes Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 shakes Old Bay Seasoning
- 5-6 shakes Montreal Steak Seasoning
- Mix all the ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes.
- Carefully remove bowl from the microwave and scrape dip into a microwave-safe glass casserole dish. Microwave for 2 minutes more, or until bubbly and heated through. Serve with pita crisps or chips.
Drunken Dancing Prawns
Recipe Courtesy of Blue Point Provision Company, Cambridge, MD
- 1 TB canola oil
- 16-20 prawns
- 1 ounce sake
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 TB rough-chopped cilantro
- 2. oz shredded red onion
- 2 oz julienned carrot
- 1 green onion, cut on the bias in 1 inch pieces
- 1 oz cognac
- 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, stirred well
- 6 oz steamed jasmine rice
- toasted sesame seeds
- Heat oil in heavy skillet over high heat
- While the oil is heating, marinate the prawns in the sake with half the garlic and cilantro.
- Sear the prawns briefly in the hot oil.
- Add the red onions, carrots, green onions, and remaining garlic, and simmer to soften the vegetables
- Add the cognac, stirring to deglaze the pan.
- Add the chili sauce and coconut milk. Adjust to taste, adding more chili sauce for a spicier flavor and more coconut milk for a milder taste.
- Place a generous scoop of steamed rice in the center of an Asian bowl and pour the prawns and sauce over the top. To serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and the remaining cilantro.
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