We spent this weekend in Maryland, with Ben’s family. They decided to have a crab feast Saturday night. It was my first experience, and I’ve got to say, it was a lot of fun but I’d rather someone else pick through the crab for me. It can be pretty disgusting! The guys didn’t seem to mind, especially my youngest brother-in-law and his friend, who stayed out on the deck for hours picking through the crab and eating it. We started about 6pm and everyone was done around 8pm, but they went until the late hours… Pretty hysterical. The rain didn’t stop them either.Since my in-laws live on Kent Island (in the Chesapeake Bay) a neighbor friend’s kid caught and steamed the crabs for us that morning. So they were very fresh. It was pretty cool learning how to break apart the crab and search for the meat, but after getting my hands dirty with the “mustard” inside, I was ready to be done almost right away.As an appetizer, and to stick with the crab feast theme, I brought a recipe I found from Bon Appetit called Open-Face Crab and Artichoke Melt. When I first saw this recipe, I emailed it to my mother-in-law and suggested we make them together at her house since she lives in the land of fresh crabs! It was a perfect accompaniment to the feast.Dessert included chocolate chip cheesecake from the amish market in Annapolis, and a peach pie brought by one of the guests along with chocolate chip cookies! Yum! It was a marvelous evening.I’ll leave you now with the recipe for the Open-Face Crab and Artichoke Melts:
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (about 6 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 1/3 cups chopped onion, (1 medium)
- 12 ounces fresh crabmeat, drained, picked over
- 1 13 3/4 oz can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained, chopped
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 long baguette cut into slices
- cherry tomatoes sliced (two per bread slice)
- monterey jack cheese, thinly sliced (one slice per bread slice)
Mix first 5 ingredients and 1/2 cup parsley in large bowl to blend. Transfer crab mixture to 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 400. Bake crab mixture until bubbling and heated through, about 25 minutes.
Preheat broiler. Place bread in single layer on large baking sheet. Divide hot crab mixture among bread slices. (Use leftover mixture as a dip) Top with tomato slices, then Monterey Jack cheese slices. Broil sandwiches until cheese melts, watching carefully to avoid burning, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and serve.
Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit