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Maryland Blue Crab Salad on the Half Shell

This recipe won the grand prize at the 50th Annual National Hard Crab Derby in Crisfield, MD.

Credited to Dee T. Van Nest of Annapolis, MD.

  • 1 pound backfin crab meat
  • 1 avocado cut into small dice
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons light sour cream
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, divided
  • 2 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1¼ cups coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce
  • ½ pound baby lettuce
  • 12 chive leaves
  • baking paper

Inspect crab meat for shell. Set aside.

Combine avocado with lemon juice. Add yogurt, sour cream, parsley, chives, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, pepper sauce and capers.

Gently fold in the crab, trying not to break up lumps of crab meat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 tablespoons of cheese forming a circle about 3 inches in diameter on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat to create 12 lacy shells. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until brown. Remove immediately from sheet.

Whip cream until slightly thick and add chili sauce and Old Bay seasoning to taste. Continue beating until soft peaks are formed. Arrange lettuce on six salad plates, top with one lacy shell and mound crab salad on shell. Position another shell on top with a few sprigs of chives. Garnish shell, salad and plate with a few dollops of sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

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