Friday, September 26, 2008


Bon Appetit published this recipe in its August 2003 magazine. The ratings on were pretty high with nice compliments for the recipe. So I thought I would try it. The Crab Guy ate his bowl, but said it had a vinegar taste. I couldn't finish mine. I theorized it was the ketchup, and I was right. I made the soup a second time -- a half batch -- leaving the ketchup out. I also reduced the lemon juice and added a bit more chicken broth and half and half to further mellow out the soup. It was delicious with those changes. The half batch is enough for two large servings, or 4 small ones.   Another bonus: this is a fast one. You can have it on the table in a half hour or less.

Bon Appetit's Tomato-Basil Crab Bisque, Adapted Half Recipe
Rating: 9 out of 10

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 oz. crabmeat + 2 oz. for garnish
1/4 cup chopped tomato with juice (fresh or canned)
1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup Clamato juice
1/2 cup fat-free half and half (or heavy cream if you prefer)
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 scant teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
dash of hot pepper sauce
scant 1/2 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in 2-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add 4 oz. crabmeat, tomato, basil and garlic. Saute` about 2 minutes. Whisk in flour; stir 2 minutes. Whisk in Clamato juice, half and half, broth, Old Bay and pepper sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Cool soup slightly. Puree soup with immersion blender until smooth.  Stir in water and lemon juice; bring to simmer. Taste to adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Divide soup among serving bowls (2 large or 4 small). Sprinkle with remaining crab and serve.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Always in search of a new recipe for crabs, I concocted this recipe and held my breath as the Crab Guy tasted it. He gave it a thumbs up, way up. He liked it as much as Gary's Seafood Salad. The shrimp that I used were really fresh. After the Crab Guy pulled up the crab traps and emptied them last week, he threw a net off the dock and pulled in 70 shrimp. He's been repeating this every time he checks the crab traps. We're loaded up with shrimp now, and boy are they good! Always use the best and freshest ingredients in cooking for superior results.

Judy's Crab-Shrimp Pasta Salad II
Rating: 9 out of 10

2 cups medium shell pasta, uncooked
2 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
3/4 cup lite mayonnaise (I used Smart Balance)
1/2 tsp. horseradish mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup fat-free half and half
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots (I grated them, then chopped them finer)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 green onions with green tops, chopped finely
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 cup cooked shrimp
1 cup cooked lump crabmeat

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions; drain; cool.
In large bowl, whisk the cheese, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, Half and Half, salt and pepper till everything is smooth and well combined. Add veggies, parsley and pasta and mix with spatula till well combined. Fold in shrimp and crabmeat. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate.  Yield:  3-4 servings

Monday, September 22, 2008


Tyler Florence is one of my faves on the Food Network channel. But this recipe was a big disappointment. The vinegar in the mayo overpowers the delicate, sweet flavor of the crabmeat.
However, people differ in their tastes. The Crab Guy gave this a thumbs down, way down, but the recipe got mostly rave reviews on the Food Network's website. You'll have to judge for yourself. IMHO, with crabmeat, less is more -- meaning the less you add to crabs, the more the flavor of the crabmeat comes through.

Tyler Florence's Crab Dip, adapted
Rating: 1 out of 10
1/2 cup Neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup mayo (Smart Balance mayo)
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste (1/8 tsp.)
Pepper to taste (pinch)
1 Tbsp. chopped chives or green onions
1 cup lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells

In a food processor add the cream cheese, mayo, and Dijon and blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and oil and season with salt and pepper. Process until well combined, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold in the chopped chives and crabmeat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate.

(Or you can combine the ingredients by hand. If the cheese is soft, it mixes easily.)

Friday, September 19, 2008


These are the new crab boards handmade by the Crab Guy. They're made from beautiful hard wood, etched with the crab design. They're practical as well as beautiful. Everyone who has used them has loved them, because it's the perfect vehicle for cracking open crabs.
The 3-piece set includes the board, mallet and cup (for melted butter or vinegar). $19.95 plus shipping
The red crab design (previous post) is no longer available.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


We cooked a mess of crabs the other night, and then picked the leftovers. So now, I am creating crab recipes. This was the first creation, and it's my own recipe. The Wal-Mart Deli had Havarti-Dill cheese, and it's really delicious in this spread. I grated it on the large holes of my box grater, then mixed it with the other ingredients. This spread has a good flavor, but you can taste the crab. It's actually quite addictive. You'll find yourself going back again and again, for just one more taste.

Havarti-Crab Spread
Rating: 9 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
3/4 cup grated Havarti-Dill cheese, or Swiss cheese
2-3 Tbsp. fat-free half and half
1/8 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1/8 tsp. hot sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
1-1/4 cup crabmeat, picked over for cartilage and shells

In a medium bowl, mash the cheeses and half and half together with a spatula. Add remaining ingredients and mash well until everything is well combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors. Serve with crackers or veggies. Yield: about 1-1/2 cups spread

Monday, September 15, 2008


This is a really great crab soup recipe. Well, maybe I'm partial, because I love pumpkin soup. The recipe is simple, easy and quick.
This is one you must try!

Yummy Pumpkin-Crab Soup
Rating: 10 out of 10

3 Tbsp. Smart Balance buttery spread (or butter)
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 cups roasted butternut squash (canned pumpkin may be substituted)1 tsp. sea salt
2-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup fat-free half and half (Land o'Lakes recommended)
2 cups crab meat, picked over for cartilage and shells
For Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

In a large heavy skillet or stock pot, heat the onion in the SB over medium heat till wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cover; reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, till onions are soft. Sprinkle with curry powder; cook an additional minute, then add squash and salt and stir together. Puree in a blender; pour into a saucepan with the broth; cook over medium heat till almost boiling. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt if needed. Add cream, half and half and crabmeat; reduce temperature and just heat through, about 5 more minutes. Garnish each serving with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Yield: 4-6 servings

Friday, September 12, 2008


Sometimes less is more. At least, with this recipe. It's a copykat version of Red Lobster's Dungeness Crab Bisque. I used blue claw crabmeat, but this year is the best for crabs. Our blue claws are so flavorful and meaty this year, that even I am liking them, and I don't particularly care for crabs. This recipe is so easy and fast, it almost feels like cheating. And the Crab Guy gave it a thumbs up -- way up. He rated it 9 out of 10. Coming from someone as picky as he is, that's a high rating. Thanks to for this one.

Red Lobster's Dungeness Crab Bisque Recipe, adapted
Rating: 9 out of 10
INGREDIENTS: 1 Tbsp. minced onion
2 Tbsp. butter (I used Smart Balance buttery spread)
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half (I used Land o'Lakes fat-free)
1 lb. crab meat, picked over for shells and cartilage
Sea salt, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley

Saute onion in butter. Add flour, cook and stir 1 minute. Gradually stir in chicken broth and half and half; cook and stir 5 minutes. Break crab into chunks; add to broth. Salt to your taste. Heat thoroughly. Garnish with parsley. Yield: 4-6 servings

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Our local Harris Teeter has reward programs going on continually. Right now, the reward is a nice piece of luggage. One of the reward programs last year was a stainless-steel "steam-a-wok," a wok with a steamer insert and a see-through top. The wok fits on a smooth-top stove or and electric or gas burner. Since our freezer always seems to be full of crabs lately, I decided to pull out 2 bags (9 crabs) and cook them in the wok. Traditionally, in New Jersey, we've done the crabs in garlic and olive oil; but I decided to add some chopped onion. Guy didn't care for the addition of the onion; I didn't taste the crabs because I had scallops, so I can't comment. I do know that I like the onion added to the garlic when I make clams and spaghetti, which is why I thought they would be good with the crabs. But the Crab Guy says no. You will have to make up your own mind on this. It's an easy way to do crabs, and it's a little different.

Garlic (and Maybe Onion) Steamed Crabs
INGREDIENTS: 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
3 Tbsp. chopped or grated garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. red pepper, crushed or ground
1/2 cup water (or try 1/2 cup dry white wine, drinking quality, instead)
8-10 blue-claw crabs

In very large saute` pan or wok, heat the onion in the oil over medium heat till it begins to wilt. Add the garlic, salt and peppers and cook another minute. Remove from heat. Add the water; cool slightly. Rub the garlic mixture over each of the crabs, working it into the open centers.

Put the crabs back into the pan or wok; cover; turn heat to high and bring the garlic mixture to a boil, creating steam. Cook on high about 10-12 minutes, or till crabs turn red.
You'll see them bubble in the center,showing you that they're cooked on the inside. Remove from pan immediately and place on a platter or tray. Don't leave the crabs to soak in the liquid, because they'll turn soggy. And there's nothing worse than a
soggy crab.