Crab and Corn Chowder

A couple of weeks ago we played tourist on our little island of Chincoteague, left the boys with my mom and dad, and walked down to Main Street…which, is just literally at the end of my parent’s street. There aren’t many shops – a small bakery, a little wine and cheese shop, some tacky beach t-shirt shops, and a few really fun and funky boutiques. We ventured in The Flying Fish Gallery, and amongst all the fun things they had in the store – my ceramics honing sense immediately zeroed in on these gorgeous oversized mugs. I thought how pretty would these be with a cream of crab soup or chowder in them? I couldn’t wait to get them home and fill them up with something!

Seems like everything is in season right now here on our beautiful Eastern Shore. Crabs are running great, thought they got a late start. Dad got a bushel in his 2 pots he has off the dock in just 4 days last week. That’s a lot of crabs for very little work, folks! We went and had steamed crabs for lunch, and he sent me home with the leftovers to pick.

Corn is in season everywhere right now, and this chowder really showcases the sweet, fresh flavor it lends. Let me just say that this soup was nothing short of phenomenal. All the flavors married so well, and I loved that you could taste the individual ingredients. The crab, the corn, the onion, the garlic, the potatoes…all off them working together in perfect harmony, but one not overpowering the other. Will be making this one again and again! The epitome of a Maryland Eastern Shore summer.

Chicken Chesapeake

It’s getting to be the time of year where I have to get creative with crab. I’m hoping Jon and my dad will have an opportunity to run the trotline for the first time this weekend. I think Andrew will be old enough to go this year, everyone’s excited about that!

I’ve seen this dish on many restaurant menus in our area. Usually a chicken breast stuffed with crab dip or crab imperial, then baked. But you guys know me – I couldn’t leave it at that. So I added bacon and cheddar cheese, as well as using some seafood seasoning to add some flavor to the chicken breasts.

Since the chicken is stuffed, you don’t need a ton of crab meat. A small amount goes a long way in this dish. I know not everyone is as fortunate as me, crab locale wise…trying to look out for you guys! But, if you happened to have some leftover crab dip or crab imperial, you could certainly substitute that in place of the crab filling listed in the recipe.

It was delicious, relatively easy and quick to throw together, and impressive…always a winning combination in my book. Looking forward to summertime here on the Chesapeake Bay!

crabimperial

Summer is just around the corner for us here on the Chesapeake, and for my family – that means bushels of crabs steamed on the regular. My dad and Jon run the trotline early on Sunday mornings, and are usually home by 10 AM with a full bushel of #1 Jimmies (or males). This year, our oldest son Andrew – who just turned five, will be old enough to go out and help man the line and net. I know everyone is excited for that!

They haven’t had a chance to go out yet this year, as the water is just starting to warm up. But, I managed to get my hands on a few to steam, and then pick to make a delicious dinner out of to share with you guys. Crab Imperial is on just about every local restaurant menu here on the Eastern Shore. It’s usually used to stuff into fish or shrimp, which of course is delicious. But a GOOD crab imperial – well, I think it’s bright enough to shine on it’s own. Lump crab, tossed with a luscious cream sauce, then baked to perfection – it’s divine. I found the cute little vintage crab dishes at a yard sale, but a ramekin or shallow au gratin dish would be just fine to bake in as well.

I’m so thankful to live in an area where my boys can experience this – learning to crab from their grandfather, who learned it from his father before him – right here on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Time to stock up on Old Bay and Boh, Maryland kiddos – summer is coming!

Grapefruit CrushI’ve made mention of the Orange Crushes that are a favorite of our Delmarva beaches. But, have you ever heard of the grapefruit crush? It’s exactly like the orange crush. But, you guessed it! You’re using lots of fresh juice from grapefruits – in place of oranges, to get this lovely cocktail.

The good folks at Karlsson’s sent me a bottle of their Gold Vodka to try. Ya’ll know me – I’m not one to turn down a bottle of booze! The minute I opened the bottle and gave it a whiff, I was impressed. While most vodkas don’t smell or taste like much of anything – this had all kind of floral notes going on. That’s probably because it’s made by a single distillation and is unfiltered – a rarity among vodkas of today. What also sets them apart is that they only use baby new potatoes, of several Swedish varieties in the mash process. This leads to a vodka with plenty of great flavor – I mentioned the floral notes, but also fresh herbs, and grapefruit. Highly recommended!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! We’re looking forward to the Salisbury Festival here, a local event that’s held annually. I’ll be at Parker Place selling cupcakes, for any of you locals out and about! Stop by and say hello. Don’t forget to enter the Magimix Giveaway if you haven’t done so already. Winner will be chosen Monday morning!