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08/21/2018

~Crunchy Crabmeat Crostini w/Secret Seafood Sauce~

IMG_1870There's nothing like driving back from a trip to the Maryland shore with a few pounds of sweet blue crabmeat in a cooler in the back seat.  The mind races with all the mouthwatering options to enjoy after you pull in the driveway.  While fresh crab is best, happily, high-quality pasteurized crabmeat is available to us all all-year long, which makes my food world a kinder, gentler place. Beer-steaming live crabs and hand-cracking them to pick their meat, is, not a sport I partake in. Ugh.  I don't even enjoy sitting at a crab shack in front of a newspaper-covered tabletop waiting for them to dump a pile of steaming-hot Old-Bay-crusted crabs in front of me. Crabbing itself? Forget about it.  The crabmeat, sans the machinations to get to it, is all that interests me.

I make fantastic Maryland-style crab cake sandwiches, decadent crab Imperial, and, a divine crabmeat quiche.  My crabmeat stuffed omelette a la benedict is exquisite and my crabmeat topped chicken Oscar w/blender bernaise is a show stopper.  Amongst my snacky specialties, crab ballscrabmeat canapés, hot crab dip and crab rangoon, are all family favorites.  

IMG_1872Today I add my crabmeat crostini to KE's crabby selections:

IMG_1592For the crab mixture:

1  large egg, at room temperature

1-2  teaspoons Frank's RedHot cayenne pepper sauce, to taste

1  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2  cup mayonnaise, your favorite brand

1  teaspoon Colman's dry English mustard

1  teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1  tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1  teaspoon sugar

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

1  cup crushed saltine crackers, crushed not crumbs, about 24 saltines

1  pound jumbo lump crabmeat, preferably Maryland blue crab, the best available

IMG_1758For the secret sauce:

2  teaspoons each: Frank's RedHot, Worcestershire, Coleman's mustard and Old Bay

1  teaspoon sugar

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

1  tablespoon dried parsley flakes

1 cup high-quality mayonnaise

IMG_1780~ Step 1. Whisk all ingredients and chill, 1-2 hours.

Note:  One morning while combining the wet ingredients for my crab cakes, it occurred to me that without the raw egg and bit more mayo, the sauces and spices, in combination with mayo, would be the perfect complementary condiment and/or sandwich topper for my crab cakes and crab cake sandwiches.  After a short period of experimentation and tweaking, this concoction is now affectionately referred to as Mel's Secret Sauce for Seafood and Seafood Sandwiches.

6a0120a8551282970b022ad3aaab56200bFor the crostini:

IMG_24091  12-ounce French batard, ends trimmed off, then sliced into 18-20 1/2"-thick slices

Note:  A French batard is first cousin to the baguette.  Batards are shorter than baguettes a bit plumper, and, contain fewer big air pockets, which gives my crostini the perfect surface area for any and all toppings.

IMG_1641 IMG_1641 IMG_1641 IMG_1641 IMG_1641~Step 1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, RedHot and Worcestershire.  Whisk in the mayonnaise, followed by the mustard, Old Bay, parsley flakes, sugar and salt.  A creamy and tangy mayonnaise-based sauce will have formed.  FYI:  Skip the egg and incorporate 1/2 cup more mayo and you've got a stellar seafood-sandwich topper.

IMG_1632 IMG_1632 IMG_1632 IMG_1632~Step 2.  Place  saltines in a food storage bag and seal.  Use your fingertips to break crackers into chunky pieces, then, using a rolling pin, process until crushed into small pieces. Fine crumbs aren't desirable, so don't process in a food processor or substitute dry breadcrumbs.

IMG_1653 IMG_1653 IMG_1653 IMG_1653 IMG_1653 IMG_1653~Step 3.  Fold the crackers into the mayo mixture. Add and gently fold the crabmeat into the cracker mixture until thoroughly combined, doing your best not to mash the lumps out of the crabmeat.  Set crab mixture aside to rest,15-20 minutes.  This rest gives the crackers time to absorb moisture and soften.  You will have about 1 1/2 pounds.

IMG_1809 IMG_1809 IMG_1809 IMG_1809~Step 4.  Get out 2, 12 1/2" x 8 8/4" disposable aluminum broiler pans, or, 2, 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pans, line them with with parchment and insert a wire rack on top of the parchment in each pan. Arrange the bread slices, 8-10 in each pan.  Slather tops of bread slices with a light coating of secret sauce.  Place 6" underneath preheated broiler until golden, about 3 minutes.

IMG_1820 2 IMG_1820 2 IMG_1820 2 IMG_1820 2~Step 4.  Remove from oven, flip bread slices over and slather second sides with a light coating of secret sauce.  Top each slice with a scant 1 1/2 ounces, (almost 2 tablespoons) of the crab mixture. Return to broiler and cook until golden, about 4 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Once broiled as directed above, remove from oven:

IMG_1829Serve hot, warm or at room temp w/a drizzle of my secret sauce, garnished w/ parsley sprigs & lemon wedges:

IMG_1875Just me & my Maryland blue crabmeat crostini:

IMG_1893Crabmeat Crostini w/Secret Seafood Sauce:  Recipe yields 18-20 appetizers

Special Equipment List:  wire whisk; large rubber spatula; 1-gallon food storage bag; rolling pin; 1-2-cup food storage container w/tight-fitting lid; 2, 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" disposable aluminum broiler pans (the kind with a corrugated bottom, or, 2, 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pans and 2 wire cooling racks; kitchen scale (optional)

IMG_1696Cook's Note:  My crabmeat crostini recipe, along with the secret sauce, is a spin-off of my Maryland crab cake sandwich recipe.  As we cooks all know, it's not uncommon to turn one dish into two or three slightly different ones.  That said, if your looking for a crab cake sandwich, made the Maryland way, I suggest you try my recipe for ~ My Maryland Crabcake, Tomato & Mayo Sandwich ~.  Got your own favorite crab cake recipe?  By all means, use it to make crostini!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)

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