Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hometown Favorite

About 2 months ago the Hungry Cat in Hollywood had their last crab feast of the summer. The chef/ owner, like me, is from Maryland and for us crabs are a summer ritual -- nay a summer necessity. So, we splurged (actually we ended up being treated by our dear friend Shari -- I happily stuck her with the pick up and ended up profiting in two ways :-)) and carried out a couple dozen for a Franklin Hills crab feast complete with steamed corn and newspaper covered tables. I get pretty excited when there are crabs on the table and I generally don't stop to open the claws. As any good Marylander would, I save them (tucked away in the freezer usually) for the follow up pot of crab soup.
Instead of starting my soup with water, as many hometown cooks do, I made a quick crab stock with the claws and a bit of reserved crab fat simmered for 30 minutes with onion, celery, chopped tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. I made the stock the day before. When it was time for dinner, I added cubed potatoes, chopped green beans, frozen peas, lima beans (some frozen and some fresh from our garden), onion, celery, carrot, fresh corn kernels, worcestershire sauce, old bay, dry mustard, red pepper flakes and a can (home canned of course) of tomatoes to the drained stock. I brought that to a boil and allowed to simmer slowly for 30 minutes. I added in a pound of crab meat and let the pot to bubble slowly about 30 minutes longer.
With plenty of crackers and a side salad, beautiful swimmers make a beautiful, easy dinner.

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