Got some seafood lovers on your Christmas list? Why not send them some down-home crab cakes, or even an old-fashioned clam bake? Phillips Harborplace will ship crab cakes or crab meat, as well as shrimp, lobster and fresh fish fillets virtually anyplace. Or you can buy a gift pack that includes a can of Phillips clam chowder, a can of vegetable crab soup, a jar of cocktail sauce and Phillips' blend of seafood seasonings. -- Or you can send a clam bake for two that includes lobsters, clams, mussels, shrimp, corn and red potatoes. Or choose dinners of Alaskan king crab, Alaskan snow crab, or market sampler.
Costs of mailing the crab cakes and seafood are based on market prices. The gift pack is $9.95. The clam bake for two is $78, including shipping. Orders are shipped overnight Monday through Friday. To order or for more information, call (800) 782-CRAB. When Obrycki's restaurant held a contest this past fall seeking a seafood recipe they could include as a new entree on their menu, Maria Bradenbaugh of Cockeysville had a hot idea: Why not do a variation on a popular seafood theme and turn it into Cajun Shrimp Scampi? The idea was so hot she won first place, beating out 10 other contestants in a taste-off at the restaurant in September. So many people have asked for the recipe that Mrs. Bradenbaugh decided to share it with everyone. She noted that it's really spicy; if you're not a fan of hot food, you might want to reduce the pepper.
Cajun Shrimp Scampi
Serves 4 to 6
2 sticks margarine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
3/4 cup white cooking wine
1 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
1/2 pound crab meat, picked over
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a medium saucepan melt margarine and add garlic, salt, 3 peppers, basil and thyme. Cook until margarine starts to become bubbly. Then add wine, green onions and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink. Add crab meat just to heat through. (Do not overcook.)
If you suffer from graviphobia -- fear of making gravy -- because of the certain presence of lumps, you might try making your next batch with Wondra Quick-Mixing Flour. Wondra has a granular texture that makes it easy to pour and measure, and its hollow particles make it rehydrate quickly in liquid, so lumps can't form. It works well in sauces and other concoctions that need to be thickened. It comes in a 2-pound box that retails for about $1.75 and in a 13.5-ounce canister that retails for about 90 cents. Wondra is available in the flour section of grocery stores.
Tidbits welcomes food news -- new products, food-related news events, local cookbooks, mail-order finds, openings and closings restaurants and food shops. Send press releases to Tidbits, Attn.: Karol V. Menzie, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.