#112 National Hard Crab Derby
The festival grounds, the cooking contest kitchen, Hon Lawson's
private pier, and Handy's soft-shell crabs processing plant.
Blue Ribbon Crab Quesadillas
Crab Cakes, Crisfield Style
Johnny's Sauteed Softs
John visits Crisfield, exploring the soft-shell crab industry and
experiencing the 50th Annual National Hard Crab Derby Festival.
We shot 8 hours of b-roll footage for this show--for those who don't
know, that's a lot! Our editor nearly fainted when he saw the tapes.
The crew loved taping Handy's, as they gave us free caps and t-shirts.
Guest chef John was a last-minute addition to the show; we discovered
him upon our arrival. (As a result, his recipe is not in the book,
but you can view it below.) The shoot ended with a bang when we
celebrated on SideStreet Restaurant's outdoor deck, eating crabs
and drinking beer, and watching the festival's fireworks. We only
wish we could have arrived sooner to tape the Miss Crustacean beauty
Recipe from the show
Blue Ribbon Crab Quesadillas
This recipe, created by John Pachkowski, was the Grand Prize Winner
of Crisfield’s National Hard Crab Derby Cooking Contest in
1994. We met John while taping the 1997 cooking contest, and we
were so impressed by his cooking skills we invited him to appear
on the show. You can see his wife Mary Alice on the show, too; she
was one of the photographers in the kitchen.
Serves 6 to 8
* 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over
* 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
* 1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
* 1⁄2 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
* 1 medium onion, sliced into rings
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 package of 6-inch corn or flour tortillas
* 1/8 teaspoon cumin
* 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/3 cup mayonnaise
* 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
* 11⁄2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded (1⁄2 cup reserved)
* 11⁄2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1⁄2 cup
* 1 tablespoon olive (or vegetable) oil
* Juice of 1⁄2 medium lime
* 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
* Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450°F. In a skillet heat the oil on medium
heat and add the peppers, onion, and garlic, and cook for 5 to 10
minutes until translucent. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat, cilantro, mayonnaise, cayenne
pepper, cumin, 1 cup each of the cheeses, jalapeno pepper, and lime
juice. Fold ingredients gently, so as to avoid breaking crab meat.
Place six tortillas on a large baking sheet. Equally divide pepper,
onion, and garlic mixture on each tortilla. Equally divide crabmeat
mixture on the tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of crab
mixture. Cover each of the tortillas with those in package. Lightly
spray top of each tortilla with cooking spray.
Bake in oven for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and quarter
each tortilla. Garnish with lime slice and serve salsa, sour cream,
and guacamole as accompaniments.
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