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Crabbing opens, so open a crab

Boats are being cleaned, motors tested, and crab pots pulled out of storage - the crab season is in full gear now.

Many areas here have become fair game for the highly sought-after crustaceans.

In fact, the home port of the Dungeness crab is the tiny village of Dungeness. A thriving seaport in the 1870s, Dungeness lost out to shifting harbors and the railroad that ran through Sequim.

But crabbing is still a favorite pastime for fishermen here, and we all enjoy eating the sweet, succulent crab meat.

And should you find you have an overabundance of it, freeze crab in milk - from an Alaskan crabber.

Toasted crab sandwiches always have been popular and these make a delicious, quick and easy summer meal for two:



CRAB AND ENGLISH MUFFINS

6 ounces cooked crab meat

2 English muffins, split, toasted and buttered

1-3 tablespoons mayonnaise

fresh lemon juice to taste

salt and pepper to taste

4 slices Swiss cheese



Toss crab with mayonnaise and lemon juice; salt and pepper to taste. Spread over muffin halves. Top with cheese; broil until cheese is bubbly. - from Alaska Shrimp & Crab Recipes by Cecilia Nibeck



PETIE'S CRAB AND SHRIMP CASSEROLE

11/2 pounds flaked crab meat

2 cups cooked white rice

1/2 pound small cooked shrimp

11/2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 chopped green bell pepper

2 packages frozen peas, thawed, not cooked

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped



Toss together above ingredients and place in greased casserole; bake in preheated 350-degree oven 1 hour. Serves 4-6.

- from my cookbook "From My Kitchen Window"



CRAB CAKES

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

3 scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cups bread crumbs

1 can (8 ounces) crab meat

1/2 cup bread crumbs



Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in skillet; add red pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Add scallions and cook 2 minutes more; remove from heat.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, eggs and mustard in bowl. Stir in red pepper mixture, and the 2 cups bread crumbs and crab.

Shape mixture into eight 4-inch patties. Coat both sides with bread crumbs.

Add remaining oil to skillet and cook crab cakes over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until they are crispy-brown. Flip cakes over and cook 5 minutes more. Serves 4. - from my files



CRAB-STUFFED FILLETS

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped scallions

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon each salt, pepper and dill weed

1 cup flaked crab meat

6 fish fillets



Sauté celery in butter; add scallions, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill weed, and crab meat. Sprinkle fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Place spoonful of stuffing on each fillet and spread evenly. Starting at narrow end, roll up fillets and fasten with picks. Place in greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven 30 minutes. Serves 8.

- from my cookbook "From My Kitchen Window"



CRAB VENETIAN

18 ounces crab meat, flaked

3 tablespoons lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil



Sprinkle lemon juice on crab meat; pepper to taste. Dribble on olive oil; toss lightly. Serve with crackers.

- from Alaska Shrimp & Crab Recipes by Cecilia Nibeck



CRAB BISQUE

1 can crab meat, flaked and drained

1 can cream of asparagus or celery soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 cups milk

1 cup cream

1/3 cup sherry



Blend soups in large pot. Gradually stir in milk and cream. Heat to just boiling. Add crab and heat; add sherry. Serve, topped with butter and chopped parsley to six.

- from Alaska Shrimp & Crab Recipes by Cecilia Nibeck



For the finest and freshest flavor, Dungeness crabs should be kept alive until just before they are cooked and eaten. The flavor advantages are quite pronounced when the crab is used in a dish that requires further cooking, for it is almost impossible to avoid overcooking when you reheat crab already cooked at the market.

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