It's time for another Wind Chime Café recipe!
If you've ever been to Maryland, you know that the Chesapeake Bay is famous for its blue crabs. Whether you prefer crab cakes, crab soup, crab dip, or steamed crabs, no one does it better than the Eastern Shore. :) My favorite thing to do on a beautiful sunny afternoon is spend a few hours outside at a picnic table with a bunch of friends, cracking open hot shells and dipping sweet bits of crab meat into piles of Old Bay Seasoning.
All you need is a couple of knives, a mallet, Old Bay seasoning, apple cider vinegar, a pitcher of beer (of course) and a roll of paper towels because you're going to get messy!
My favorite place to go out for crabs is the Masthead at Pier Street Marina in Oxford, Maryland. The staff is friendly, the crabs are delicious, and the view is fantastic.
If you didn't grow up on the Chesapeake Bay, picking crabs for the first time can be a little intimidating. It's best to order a few side dishes so you don't go hungry while you're catching on to the technique. :)
A few weeks ago my mom and I came up with a new crab dip recipe for Wind Chime Café. Well...she came up with it. I was on hand for moral support. :)
Maryland Crab Dip
What you'll need:
3 T unsalted butter
2 shallots, diced
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 T Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 t dry mustard
3/4 c half-and-half
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 T sherry cooking wine
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese
3 T lemon juice
2 t Worcestershire Sauce
10 oz lump crabmeat
1/2 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
2 slices white bread with crusts removed, torn into small pieces (or) Panko bread crumbs
1/2 t paprika
1 t olive oil
crackers for serving (or a bread bowl)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 2 T butter and add shallots, cooking until soft. Add 1 T water and simmer for about 30 seconds. Stir in the cayenne pepper, Old Bay seasoning, and dry mustard. Pour in the half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Add the sherry and the cream cheese and stir. Add the cheddar cheese, a little bit at a time. Heat the mixture until it's close to bubbling (a couple of minutes). Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce and stir. Finally, add the crabmeat and half the parsley and all the basil. Transfer the mixture to an oven proof baking dish and sprinkle with bread pieces. Drizzle a little olive oil on the top, over the bread. Sprinkle with more Old Bay seasoning--be generous! Bake for about 18 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve hot with crackers.
If you get a chance to try the recipe, I'd love to hear what you think!