Monday, September 5, 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab

We're in the last summer month in Florida. Although students are already back in school and it stays warm year-around, I wanted to get in a crab recipe before bidding the summer adieu.

Growing up, my grandfather, father, mother, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins would pile into a caravan of cars and drive out to New Symrna Beach to go crabbing with triangular trap cages my grandfather made. At the designated bridge, raw chicken would be strapped to the base of the trap. Over the side of the bridge and down, down the cage would go, plunging into the water below. Cars would whiz by behind and the draw bridge would raise and lower as we waited for the moment to pull up the cage. Once the decision was made to pull up the trap, one had to do so with speed and conviction. The motion of pulling up caused the cage to close, trapping in the unsuspecting crabs snacking on chicken wings.

Late afternoon, when the cooler was full of burbling crabs, we would stomp out the sand from our flip flops and begin the journey home, salty-skinned and exhausted from the heat. Back at my grandfather's house, one of the aunts would set a deep pot of water on the stove to boil. Newspaper would be unfolded onto the tiled floor (the kids' dining area) and once the crabs changed from blue to orange, the cracking of shells would begin.

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms with Crab
adapted from Bon App├ętit, September 2002

1 large eggs
1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard [substituted 1 tablespoon prepared mustard]
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce [substituted 1 teaspoon soy sauce]
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb of crab
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
24 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed [about two 8-ounce cartons of baby bella mushrooms]
chopped cilantro to garnish

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.

Combine egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and soy sauce in medium bowl; whisk to blend. In another bowl, combine crabmeat and breadcrumbs. Pour egg mixture over crab mixture and mix gently.

Stuff mushroom caps with crab mixture, mounding in center and pressing gently to adhere. Arrange stuffed mushrooms on baking sheet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Place in oven. Bake until mushrooms begin to release juices, about 18 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro. Makes 6 servings.


  1. I really enjoyed reading about this childhood memory! Were you catching blue crabs? Or another variety?

  2. They were blue crabs! The other day, I read that there is a five crab per person limit. No wonder the whole family was out there. ;)