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Maryland Crab Cake Dinner side dishes

charly's picture

I am planning a Maryland Crab Cake dinner....presenting it in an elegant casual table setting.  I am at a loss as to what to serve for the side dishes.  Any help would be appreciated.

kai230's picture

(post #26756, reply #1 of 68)

Welcome char!


Jacques and Julia did a salmon w/a cuke side dish the other day, and it seems just fine for this, too. Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe, only a remembrance--they were peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced into ~2" chunks, seeded, and cooked in ? btr. The recipe was more about cutting than cooking, but they looked like pearly, light green, bite-sized boats. Save one cuke to score lengthwise w/a fork and slice into conventional rounds or half rounds as edible decor.


The real chefs will surely chime in w/more and better ideas. My thoughts are simple--


* if the crab cakes will be crispy, have at least one side dish that isn't, say, potato salad or slaw--maybe one that is extra creamy;
* choose only the freshest, in-season veggies--no need to cook some of them, like asparagus or corn;
* think colors, even if only a huge red pepper to hold a dipping sauce, or half-peppers to hold two types of sauce; 
* consider eccentric extras, like stuffed green or Greek olives, or any small snacky item for your relish tray. Mushrooms w/soft cheese are always a hit w/me, the stronger the cheese the better IMO.


I'm betting almost any in-season veggies you grill (or roast) would be just perfect. A dessert of vanilla ice cream topped w/sliced fresh fruit . . . maybe some optional toppings (toasted nuts, whipped cream, e.g.) . . . it should be a very memorable meal! 


What's in season in your neck of the woods?

charly's picture

(post #26756, reply #3 of 68)

Thanks for all the wonderful tips!  We have a new "Central Market" in our neighborhood (Dallas) and it's a pleasure shopping there!  They have everything.....Any kind of pepper, mushroom or veggie you can think of.  We've needed this type of available foods for a long time.  Even cooking classes.  I'm a happy cook!  char

MadMom's picture

(post #26756, reply #5 of 68)

char - I cannot believe it...another North Texan!  Wish I had known you were around when we had the MiniMadFest at my house a few weeks back.  Next time I get Fledge to drive over from Tyler and TXGal to come up from Houston, you will have to join us.  Don't you just love Central Market?  I could spend days there, and I do so enjoy the cooking schools.  My next one will be Martin Yan's on the 30th (I go to Plano) and it should be a blast.


What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind. Or not to have a mind
at all. How true that is.
-- Vice President Dan Quayle winning friends while
speaking to the United Negro College Fund

Gretchen's picture

(post #26756, reply #8 of 68)

Thanks for all the wonderful tips!  We have a new "Central Market" in our neighborhood (


Aren't they out of sight!!  Our daughter and husband live in San Antonio and it is always a main stop for us.  You may have joined the board after I told the story about the CM--it is a part of the HEB chain as you know and reportedly developed because Henry's wife complained about the selections. Therefore in SA it is called the GucciB.  Or as DD calls it  The Gooch.


 


Gretchen


Edited 9/27/2002 12:30:12 PM ET by GRETCHEN50

Gretchen
kai230's picture

(post #26756, reply #9 of 68)

Maybe one day we'll get a Central Market here. Lucky you!

Gretchen's picture

(post #26756, reply #2 of 68)

Louis Osteen used to serve his crabcakes on a fried green tomato.  Are you serving a sauce such as a red pepper couli or remoulade?  My favorite side with crab cakes is roasted asparagus.  A sliced tomato, red onion and cuke salad might be nice with either a vinaigrette or a thinned mayo dressing.  When the tomatoes are really good I just chunk them and add a little mayo--the juices make it a thin dressing.

Gretchen

Gretchen
charly's picture

(post #26756, reply #4 of 68)

No sauces.  My husband is from Maryland and he says "no sauces".  He has always been served stewed tomatoes and eggplant is some sort of batter and applesauce.  I have tried several fried eggplant dishes but not successfully.  So now I am probably going to switch to a corn dish and a potato and forget all of the above.  But thanks for your response.  I like the fried green tomato idea as well.  The onion, tomato and crab cake make a great sandwich also.  char

Gretchen's picture

(post #26756, reply #6 of 68)

He has always been served stewed tomatoes and eggplant is some sort of batter and applesauce


That is an interesting thing to serve with crab cakes!  Each to his own.  If you want to stick to the eggplant scene try my eggplant gratin recipe I posted a while back.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Fledge's picture

(post #26756, reply #7 of 68)

Eggplant stuffed with crab meat.  THAT'S CAJUN.


lol.....


Ragin Cajun

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #26756, reply #10 of 68)

Just have to put my 2 cents in here...having basically grown up on the Eastern shore and boy do I love the Maryland crab cakes,  the temptation to serve all kinds of stuff with them is great, but for the price of a pound of crabmeat, I don't want the main attraction lost in a sea of sides...My experiences have been that a lot of restaurants pile on the sides...when I make crab cakes at home, I stick to a simple slaw or a nice mild corn salad...along with that thought I serve lots of sliced fresh tomatoes and NO sauces!  Fresh lemon is just about as saucy as I get with crab cakes...My last dinner with crab cakes, I just made a wonderful salad and enjoyed the crabcakes! 


Down here in NC they make the absolute worst version of a crabcake that I have ever experienced...it is more like a deviled crab mix with not much crab then they pile on the hush puppies and stewed to death veggies loaded with salt and fatback...


I have to agree that a perfect fried green tomato slices would be wonderful with crab cakes. 


Now my husband wants crab cakes for dinner so I guess I better get a move on...

Gretchen's picture

(post #26756, reply #11 of 68)

Down here in NC they make the absolute worst version of a crabcake that I have ever experienced...it is more like a deviled crab mix with not much crab then they pile on the hush puppies and stewed to death veggies loaded with salt and fatback...


Oh, wait--I can't take that lying down!!  You need to upgrade your restaurant--really.  But I do know the awful mixture you are talking about.


And I agree about not much else to go with a crabcake.  We have it for brunch on Sunday at the beach often with just roast asparagus and tomato slices in summer.


And when you make the crabcake, there ain't much else in it but crab (mine is a little red bell pepper, mayo, a few cracker crumbs, egg--dropped by spoonfuls to saute in butter).


We had very poor crabbing a couple of weeks ago but what we got were lucious and sweet.


Gretchen
Gretchen
ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #26756, reply #12 of 68)

Gretchen, I don't exactly live in the lap of sophistication down here (we just got a grocery store that sells more than collards) and I can only think of one new fabulous restaurant that makes a good crab cake and that is 22 miles away...the rest of them are all the same fried fried and more fried...I love the roasted asparagus!  That I would do...


We feel like we are in heaven with our new Lowe's food store, but for seafood we go right to the boat it came in on or I do my own crabbing off my dock...I use an old favorite Maryland Crab Cake recipe that I just love...I guess while I am at it, I will ick up some asparagus...thanks for the food craving!  LOL 

Fledge's picture

(post #26756, reply #13 of 68)

oH YEAH,  I go you better than that.  I pick and eat the crab myself.  To heck with the cake part.


:-}


Ragin Cajun

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #26756, reply #14 of 68)

Same here...since I am the lone crab picker here, I get it all!  Now with all of this discussion of crab, there will be some on the table tonight!  My husband swears that I have some sort of deficiency that only seafood cures...mostly right, but more like that is why I moved here!  If I set my crab pots they are free, if I go buy them, I pay $7.00 a dozen ( hear they are $26-28 a dozen up in the DC area????)  I just went down to the boats and picked up 30 lbs of fresh shrimp (winter freezer stash) and paid 3.25 a pound.  So I am really lucky to have all this fresh stuff at a reasonable price...


You all enjoy your day...

Fledge's picture

(post #26756, reply #15 of 68)

argggggggggggggggggggggggggggg


I am so jealous!


Ragin Cajun

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #26756, reply #16 of 68)

Hi Rosemary, where are you living in NC? You are making me crazy wanting fresh crab and shrimp! I live in NC, but not on the coast. Will be there for Thanksgiving though!


Too bad your restaurants don't know how to make crab cakes. The restaurants here have had good lessons from someone.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #26756, reply #17 of 68)

Hambiscuit...I live in a town called Cape Carteret...The weather channel calls it East of Wilmington during a hurricane even if we take a direct hit during a hurricane.  I actually just finished making the crab cakes for dinner tonight (or is it supper?) I know how lucky I am having such a great selection of fresh seafood here.  Twice in the past four years I have had to "carry" seafood to Idaho and Arizona for our Italian Christmas Eve dinners...I am always toting about 250 clams up to DC when I visit my parents...No I don't do other deliveries!


The funniest and near disaster was when I went out to Arizona and the airlines lost??? my cooler with 250 clams, crabmeat, squid, grouper and whatever else I managed to pack...who needs more than a change of clothes...I made a claim immediately and the long and short of it was that they left the cooler in Pittsburgh!  It arrived at about 4:30 a.m and the Hotel people forgot to tell me that it was there, yea right, clearly marked highly perishable SEAFOOD...we were ready to check out and head down to Yuma sans the cooler, but I spied that thing sitting behind the hotel desk!  I immediately tore into it and there was not one melted ice cube in the darn thing...off we went and had a fine celebration Christmas Eve.


I don't order crab cakes out at all...they usually charge the price of a pound of crabmeat anyway...someday we will have a fine place to eat that doesn't serve you three shrimp with you pound of pasta!  I am so spoiled...I love to cook and very seldom around here do I find dinners that come close to meeting my expectations.  Nice life here though..

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #26756, reply #18 of 68)

I know exactly where you are. Beautiful area!

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #26756, reply #19 of 68)

you sound like a frequent visitor to the area if you know exactly where I am!  Well, in any case, I love it here and I have given up a lot of luxuries in the food department, but manage I do, with the dreaded, ORDER/ship it syndrome.  Most of the problem is that I will not settle for something if I can get better!


By the way my crab cakes were delicious!  Two left!  I guess that I can not visit this site in the morning...it sets off more of a food frenzy than normal...I am trying to read as much as I can here as it sounds like such a diverse and cohesive group...being a newbie, I do not know anyone, I just share the FC common link...that's how I got here with my request for issue 52's lamb chops...I finally got my copy, but I got an instant response here...


Love the place...


 

hambiscuit2's picture

(post #26756, reply #20 of 68)

We aren't frequent visitors there, but do have good friends in Carteret county, and on Harker's Island, in Davis, and all around.


With crab cakes, less is more (ingredients) IMO, letting the crab meat shine! glad yours were so good. We are very glad to have you here. I've gained a bit of weight since finding this site. It really has renewed my interest in cooking.


We have a Thanksgiving family beach trip planned with the children and grandchildren and I hope to stock up on seafood for the freezer while there. We won't be in your area this trip, but  further south at Holden Beach.


Edited 9/29/2002 8:54:02 PM ET by Hambiscuit

SusanSz's picture

(post #26756, reply #30 of 68)

Hambiscuit...I live in a town called Cape Carteret...The weather channel calls it East of Wilmington during a hurricane even if we take a direct hit during a hurricane. 


I went to UNC-W(ilmington) from '92-96.  I miss the CHEAP oysters and shrimp down there.  Sigh....Now I live in Chicago, where six oysters cost me about $8.  Last year we visited my SIL and her husband in the boondocks somewhere around Wilmington (lol) and he got us a bushel of oysters for $25.  Man, I gorged that night.


Ahhh, the memories...


Edited to add - Wolvie, I'll be eating at the Magnolia Grill on the 11th, and I'll be sure to order the crab cakes.  Going down to NC for my 10-year high school reunion.  Yikes - I'm getting nervous just thinking about it...(not the restaurant, the reunion)


Edited 10/2/2002 2:08:37 PM ET by Susan S.

TracyK's picture

(post #26756, reply #31 of 68)

Susan, I feel your pain! My 10-year reunion is also upcoming... October 19th, to be precise. I am in the throes of trying to shed a couple lbs. before then, which sucks.


I did get a fabulous dress, however. :-)


What the caterpillar heralds as the end of the world,
the Master calls a butterfly.


--Richard Bach

SusanSz's picture

(post #26756, reply #32 of 68)

Susan, I feel your pain! My 10-year reunion is also upcoming... October 19th, to be precise. I am in the throes of trying to shed a couple lbs. before then, which sucks.


Losing weight?  Ha!  I thought about trying to, then realized that I would just be happy not weighing any more than I do.  ;-)  Now all I need is an outfit that sums up who I am without saying a word, lol!


Mine is Oct. 13th.  For me, my irrational fear is that everyone there will be a rock star.  Or a high-powered executive.  Or a super-mommy with three impeccable kids who are all geniuses.  Blech. 


I just keep telling myself that if it sucks, I can bail...  :-)


 


Susan

TracyK's picture

(post #26756, reply #36 of 68)

Now all I need is an outfit that sums up who I am without saying a word, lol!


I also need a new haircut, and possibly some color... but isn't it nicely timed? I could be a redhead before MeanieFest! :-)


For me, my irrational fear is that everyone there will be a rock star.  Or a high-powered executive.  Or a super-mommy with three impeccable kids who are all geniuses.  Blech. 


Blech indeed. Two months ago I was approaching with smugness, thinking that while I may not be a rock star, a high-powered executive, or a super-mommy, at least I have a decent job and a great boyfriend. So much for that!


Ah well... still have the job at least. :-) And two kitties who are geniuses!


Gretchen and Jean, you go girls. :-)


 



What the caterpillar heralds as the end of the world,
the Master calls a butterfly.


--Richard Bach


Edited 10/3/2002 9:16:56 AM ET by Tracy K

RheaS's picture

(post #26756, reply #37 of 68)

my irrational fear is that everyone there will be a rock star.  Or a high-powered executive.  Or a super-mommy with three impeccable kids who are all geniuses

I didn't bother going to my 10-year because it wasn't worth the airfare. My classmates hadn't changed much from what news I get and I still keep in contact with those that count. However, things have changed a little in the last 3 years. There are now 4 doctors, 2 lawyers, 1 Physics Phd, a Juno(Canadian equivalent of a Grammy)-award winning rapper and lots of cute babies from a class of about 100. The rapper guy goes by the name Mad Child and is part of Swollen Members. He was a real jerk in high school and supposedly worse now that he has some fame and money.


Edited 10/3/2002 10:44:28 AM ET by Rhea_S


Edited 10/3/2002 10:45:09 AM ET by Rhea_S

SusanSz's picture

(post #26756, reply #38 of 68)

Swollen Members?!!??  Too, too, funny.  I'm going to have to google on that group.


I figure I wouldn't be going to this reunion, except my parents live in Raleigh and so do DH's, so we're sneaking in a family visit as well.


And 50-year reunion?  Wow!!!  Lessee, mine would be in...um...(can I count that high?  ha ha...just kidding)...2042.  Talk about the long view.  You go, Gretchen and Jean!  That's impressive!  Now there's a reunion I would love to go to.


And Tracey - just think - you could have like the meet-cute story of breaking up with your boyfriend right before the reunion, then going and meeting the hunk you had a crush on all through high school, just to find out that he had a crush on you way back then too, and ride off into the sunset together, happily ever after.  Awwww...Can't you just see that as a Hollywood movie?  Reese Witherspoon could play you.  :-)


Susan

TracyK's picture

(post #26756, reply #39 of 68)

2042?? Dang, will we really be around then? One can only hope, I suppose... and to have as much pizzazz as Jean and Gretchen. :-)


If I had to shell out for airfare for this thing, I don't think I'd be going either... I'd much rather shell out for MeanieFest! But since I live about 20 minutes from where I went to HS, I can't really avoid it! I don't even have to get a hotel room for the occasion.


LOL re meet-cute... I had a bit of that (though not really cute... more of a "Romy and Michelle" moment) at the 5-year reunion, when the guy I had the HUGEST crush on my freshman year of HS propositioned me in a drunk and sloppy way... so I had the fun of saying NO THANKS! and sending him on his drunk, beer-gutted, lonely way. Ha!!


Then there was Joe, who was always kinda dorky (but a great guy), who had grown six inches, shed about 30 lbs, and taken ballroom dancing lessons... just charmed the heck out of everybody.


Mostly I'm looking forward to my best friend coming out from San Diego... and six months pregnant! We're having a baby shower for her the same day (see Baby Shower thread in Cooking Discussions for menu...). Too fun!


I think Minnie Driver would play a better me... definitely a skinnier, cuter me. :-)


What the caterpillar heralds as the end of the world,
the Master calls a butterfly.


--Richard Bach

Gretchen's picture

(post #26756, reply #33 of 68)

I feel your pain! My 10-year reunion is also upcoming...


Oh, c'mon lightweights.  My 50th is coming next summer in my old home town in southern Ohio where I visit often with my sister but never see any classmates!  I was overweight then--have corrected from time to time--and am now again. We shall see what next June brings!!  I definitely have the LONG view here!!


Gretchen
Gretchen
Jean's picture

(post #26756, reply #34 of 68)

HA!  We both graduated the same year Gretchen.  At least no one expects us to look like we're 19.  But it is amazing how much more our old classmates have aged.  LOL.

 


When you are over the hill, you pick up speed. .

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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doyenne's picture

(post #26756, reply #40 of 68)

If we show up at a reunion, we consider that an achievement.   We are working on our 59th reunion  ( since at a certain point you begin to have them annually ) and are hoping that all of us will be there to attend. This really gives new meaning to the word " survivor ".


For our 50th we made ourselves available to the sociology department of a local university since we were graduated from an all girls school and were catapulted into a world at war with many of us filling jobs previously performed by men. At the end of the war, many of us were reluctant to return to our previous lives.


Working with the professors we devised a questionnaire concerning our attitudes then and how we view life now. We will probably do the same for our 60th.


My this is a long way from crabcakes!


I can't remember today what it was I  couldn't remember yesterday

Where is Monica Lewinski when you need her?