Easy crab toasties

November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

You know what’s not a very cost-effective food binge to go on?  Crab.  I suppose it could have been worse.  It could have been lobster.  But I don’t know, call me unsophisticated but I really like crab better than lobster.  Anyways, while most people’s Halloween weekends were filled with chocolatey, peanut-buttery, crispy, fruity, caramel-dipped treats, mine was filled with buckets of crab.  Tender, slightly sweet and buttery with just a hint of the sea, crab.  I’d take it over a tootsie roll any day!

I guess it must have been a result of our proximity to the Chesapeake Bay.  As I mentioned before, we road tripped down to the DC area for the weekend and while there we had to eat out a lot.  At every restaurant, when I opened the menu, there was crab in some succulent sounding manifestation – chowder, salad, cakes, sandwiches – that I simply couldn’t resist.  Our drive back up on Sunday was on a perfect slightly sunny, slightly grey turning the corner into November day, so we wended our way up north with frequent stops for coffee, leg stretching and a little exploration.  We stopped for lunch in Delaware because, well, because none of us had ever stopped in Delaware.  We discovered an adorable little coffee shop in Newark, DE, and there on their posted lunch menu was crab melts.  Guess what we ordered.

I was so excited when they arrived to see a) that they came with a really spectacularly good pickle and b) that they looked almost just like the “crab toasties” that Merrill (one of the editors) had shared a couple of months ago on food52, which I had been drooling over ever since but had never gotten the gumption up to actually try making.  Mmmmmmm.  This stop may go down in my personal little history as one of my top road trip stops (you know, along with the 3am stop at Perkins in Montreal for milkshakes, ooh or the stop in Austria for perfect “crisp apple strudel”, or seeing the world’s largest cuckoo clock…maybe there’s just something epic about road trip stops).  Perfect day, perfect coffee, perfect company, perfect sandwich.  It’s hard to ask for more.

And since getting home, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about crab toasties.  Today I finally cracked.  I used canned crab because I really didn’t want to invest in getting, steaming, and picking out crab claw meat.  Especially for lunch.  And it was still totally delicious.  I added very little besides mayo and a titch of yogurt to the crab.  With crab, I think less is more.  Had it still been tomato season season I would have put on some thick slabs of tomato, but it wasn’t.  I did however have an avocado, and added a couple of slices because avocado is pretty much always good, but its silky nutty flavor is an especially perfect complement for crab.  I’m afraid I just may have developed a new weekly (and still not cost effective, but totally worth it!) ritual.

Crab toastie with avocado (serves 1 quite generously, and is easily scaled up)

  • 1 English muffin
  • 1 can of crabmeat, drained
  • a bit less than 1 Tbs. each of mayo and Greek-style yogurt or sour cream (or you could just use mayo)
  • 1 scallion (just the white and light green portions) or a couple of chives, finely chopped
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • a couple of slices of avocado (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. of grated sharp cheddar – or a couple of slices of sharp cheddar
  1. Split and toast the English muffin.  Gently mix the crab, mayo and yogurt (or sour cream), scallion, and salt and pepper together in a bowl. 
  2. Place avocado slices on each English muffin half, then top each half with generous scoops of the crab.  Top each half with a Tablespoon of cheese. 
  3. Heat your broiler in the oven or in a toaster oven.  Put the crab topped muffins under the broiler and broil until the cheese is bubbling – just a couple of minutes, so watch closely.  If desired sprinkle with a little bit of “Old Bay” seasoning or paprika before eating.
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