Ham-crab combo makes tasty hors d'oeuvre


Classics: BGE's cookbook of Maryland dishes included Crab Norfolk.

June 23, 1999|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff

A recipe for sauteed Smithfield ham and crab meat was the request of Maria M. Berger of Ocean City. She wrote, "I tried to make it but failed. Then I had it at Busch's Chesapeake Restaurant, but the chef wouldn't part with the recipe."

Barbara Kreft of Catonsville and Nancy Flack of Severna Park each responded with a recipe for Crab Norfolk, which was published in Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s "Maryland Classics," a collection of traditional and contemporary dishes.

Virginia Brisbane Sekora of Greensburg, Pa., was looking for a recipe for Italian bread that she had made for 40 years and lost. Shirley M. Greene of Latrobe, Pa., came to the rescue.

Crab Norfolk

Serves 6-8

2 pounds lump crab meat

1/8 pound thinly sliced Smithfield ham

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted

Pick shells from crab meat; set aside. Cut ham into 1/2 -inch strips; set aside. Saute onion in butter, over low heat, until translucent. Add ham and crab meat. Cook until lightly brown. Stir gently to avoid breaking crab lumps.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "With crusty bread or toast points, this is a delicious hors d'oeuvre. It might even be a light entree with bread and a salad. The saltiness of the ham complements the sweetness of the crab and sauteed onion. A little sprinkling of chives might make the presentation a little more alluring."

Italian Bread

Makes 3 medium loaves

2 packages dry yeast

3 cups lukewarm water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt and oil. Add flour, 2 cups at a time, and mix well. Dough will be sticky. Put into a greased bowl and cover. Punch down every 10 minutes for one hour. Divide into 3 parts and form into three long loaves. Put in bread pans or space on cookie sheets and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 50-60 minutes.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The process of punching down the dough every 10 minutes really serves to knead the dough and cause the glutens to be activated. When the dough is first put into the bowl, it is a ragged, sticky mass, but by the end, it is transformed into a shiny, elastic ball. I chose to use olive oil to add a little extra flavor, but vegetable oil or other flavorless oil will work as well. I made two loaves in French bread pans and one loaf on a cookie sheet to compare methods and both worked well, but the French bread pan loaves required only about 50 minutes of cooking time. The resulting bread is a nice, crusty loaf with a moist, pillowy interior. The exterior color would be improved with a little egg wash before baking to achieve a more golden crust."

Recipe requests

* Niki Duddington of St. Augustine, Fla., is seeking a recipe for Maple Frango, which she had years ago in Minneapolis at the dining room in Donaldson's department store. "It was a delicious frozen dessert, which seemed to be a combination of maple syrup, water and vanilla ice cream, frozen in layers, and the very heavy cream left tiny bits of actual butter on the tongue."

* Rolie S. Webb of Hope Mills, N.C., remembers finding a recipe years ago called Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake, which had beer in it. She would like help in finding it.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

Pub Date: 06/23/99

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