Tastes from bay towns

Published 10:03 am Monday, January 29, 2018

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

How about a taste of the bay? More specifically Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

Chesapeake Bay is one of the most beautiful coastal areas of the United States. It is filled with lighthouses, piers and fishing boats.

If you ever watched the 20th-Century crime show “Murder She Wrote” with Angela Lansbury, it took place in a small coastal town called “Cabot Cove.” This TV show is pretty close to an accurate representation to what coastal bay life is really like (without the weekly murders, of course).

Alabama is filled with our own “coastal” towns, so to speak, such as Childersburg, Columbiana and Pell City, just to name a few. The lake scene in Alabama is very popular, and so is the fishing. We may not be smelling salt air, hearing the loud call of the seagulls or roaring ocean waves, but we always have hummingbirds, summer barbecues, fish fries and enough beer to sink a ship.

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Maryland’s Southern Seafood Dressing

1 small jar of mayo (8 ounces)

1 small container of sour cream (8 ounces)

2 blocks of cream cheese, room temperature

1 jar of pimento (4 ounces)

Cream together the above ingredients and set aside.

2 boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix

Cook 2 loaves of cornbread according to the box directions and cool.

When preparing the cornbread batter, it is recommended to use buttermilk.

1 can of crab meat

1 can of clams

½ a teaspoon of thyme

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of minced garlic or garlic powder

1 teaspoon of lemon pepper

1 Tablespoon of Tabasco

6 eggs boiled, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 ¼ cup of onion, chopped

1 ¼ cup of celery, chopped

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Do not drain any liquids from the cans or jars. Crumble the cornbread in a large mixing bowl. Combine all the ingredients, then fold in the creamed mixture and mix it well. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and pour the mixture in the casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Creamed Harbor Crab Soup

1 pound of crab meat (canned or imitation can also be used)

½ a stick of butter

¼ of a cup of flour

1 cup of chicken broth

1 teaspoon of black pepper

5-6 cups of milk

Salt to taste

Melt the butter in the bottom of a pot. Sauté the meat with seasonings. Blend in the flour. Slowly mix in the broth until smooth. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in the milk. Constantly stir the pot, until thickened, but do not boil.

Chesapeake Crab Soup

8 cups of water

2 cups of carrots, chopped

2 cups of onions, chopped

1½ cups of celery, chopped

3 cups of potatoes, chopped

1 pound of fresh tomatoes, chopped (or 1 pound can tomatoes)

1 pound of crab meat (canned or imitation can also be used)

½ a stick of butter or margarine

1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon of Old Bay oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In the bottom of a pot, sauté the butter, oil, seasonings, meat and vegetables together. Once it has reached a desired color, add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes.

Marinated Broccoli

3 heads of broccoli, cut into pieces

1 cup of cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of dill

1 tablespoon of all spice

2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1½ cups of vegetable oil

Mix everything together and refrigerate. Go back and stir well occasionally. Marinate for 24 hours before serving.

Seafood Vinegar Sauce

1 cup of white distilled vinegar

1 onion thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and refrigerate. Let the mixture marinate together for 48 hours, before serving.

Clam or Oyster Corn Fritters

2 cans of clams or 1 pint of shucked oysters

1 egg

Reserve the liquid from the shell fish to create ¾ a cup, add water if necessary.

2 cups of biscuit mix

¼ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning

½ a teaspoon of salt

½ a teaspoon of lemon pepper

1 can of corn (8 ounces)

Fat or oil for frying

In a large bowl beat the egg. Add the biscuit mix, liquid and seasonings, then beat well. Stir in the corn and shell fish. In a large fry pan heat 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees. Drop the fritters by a tablespoonful. Cook until it is brown on one side, 1-2 minutes. Flip the fritter and brown the other side. Once cooked drain on paper towels. These fritters can also be deep fried. If deep-frying, heat the fryer at 350 degrees.