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June 26, 1998     Cape Gazette
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June 26, 1998

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FOOD &amp; DRINK Enter the 1998 Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off Cracker or bread crumbs, green or red peppers, mustard or mayo...what do you put in your crab cakes7 Your recipe may be a winner if you enter the Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off, spon- sored by the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate Col- lege of Marine Studies. Eight finalists will compete for cash prizes ($150 for first place, $100 for second place and $75 for third place) and the coveted title "Delaware's Best Crab Cakes" in the cook- offat Coast Day, Sunday, OcL 4, at the Uni- versity's Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes. Coast Day is the University of Delaware Sea Grant Program and College of Marine Studies' annual educational festival and showcase for Delaware's rich marine re- sources. The event typically attracts more than I0,000 visitors and has won state and na- tional awards for its efforts to promote envi- romuental education and stewardship. "Our crab cake cook-off highlights one Of Delmarva's most valuable seafood re- sources - the blue crab," said Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for the uni- versity's Sea Grant Marine Advisory Ser- vice and the event's organizer. "Each year, seafood lovers with creative concoctions and cherished family recipes enter the con- test. We select eight entries based on origi- nality and an appealing balance of blue-crab meat and other ingredients to compete in the cook-off. Those eight finalists then pre- pare their recipes for a distinguished panel of judges on Coast Day. It's a lot of fun for the contestants and for the seafood lovers who enjoy watching them," Hicks said. Last year, Cherry Barranco of Milton won the top prize with "Dad's Crab Cakes." As first-place winner in last year's contest, she has been invited back to be a judge at this year's competition. As always, the competition guidelines specify that crab cakes must be made from It's time to delve into your cupboards and gather ingredients for the 1998 Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off, which will take place on the first Sunday in October in Lewes. 100 percent blue-crab meat; all other types of crab meat are unacceptable. Each contestant will receive 2 pounds of blue-crab meat to use at the cook-off. All other ingredients and cooking utensils are the contestant's responsibility. Judging will be based on originality, predominance of crab meat, taste and texture. - Entries are due Friday, Aug. 14. For a complete set of contest 'rules and an entry form, or for more information, call the Uni- versity of Delaware's Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at 645-4346 or e-mail Doris Hicks at <>. Here's last year's winning recipe: Dad's Crab Cakes by Cherry Barranco, Milton 2 lbs. crab meat I 2eggs 1 t lemon juice 1/2 C mayonnaise 1/4 C mustard 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 green pepper, freely chopped 1 cup crushed Saltine crackers 1 t Tabasco 2 t Worcestershire sauce 1 1/2 t Old Bay seasoning 1 oz. parsley dash of garlic powder Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix- ing well. Form into crab cakes and refriger- ate until firm. Broil in oven or fry in olive oil until gold- en brown. Serve with fresh salsa or favorite condiments: Odor and taste are a winning combination I saved the best for last and to paraphrase the Bard, a nose by other names still smells sweetly. Were you aware your nose is the most perceptive sensory organ? In a previ- ous column, I discussed odor, aroma and bouquet, then said I would address the other areas the nose perceives that fully define the nose of wine. Most of us use the word flavor, the com- bination of odor and taste as it appears in the mouth to describe nose. Believe it or not, without the presence of odor, an apple and an onion have similar affects in the mouth. In order for you to perceive, it is neces- sary to have something volatile to raise little particles up into your nose. Rather than having a chemistry class, I will list these volatile materials only; for more informa- tion, contact Garden Gourmet and we will mail it to you. The volatile materials are: al- cohol, volatile acidity, acetaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, mercaptans and sulfides, and final- ly a general chemical sense which is detect- ed by the trigeminal nerve system and is ex- hibited in the nose as a burning or itching sensation such as one feels when being ex- posed to ammonia or bleach. Of these, ac- etaldehydeis one with which you may not Continued on page 65 Summer's here, so fish should be high on the fist 1 large green pepper, chopped 2 celery ribs , chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 diced red potatoes 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes 2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce 3 bay leaves 1 T chopped fresh basil 1 T chopped fresh oregano 2 t chopped fresh rosemary 1 tsar 1/4 t freshly ground pepper 2 lb. grouper or red snapper fillets cut into 1-inch chunks 1 T lemon juice 1 t prepared horseradish I or 2 dashes hot sauce Fresh oregano sprigs as gar- Irish Stir together bouillon and water until bouillon dissolves. Set aside. Whisk flour into hot bacon drip- pings and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 7 to 8 min- utes or until caramel-colored. Stir in onion and next three ingredi- ents. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 15 to 20.min- utes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in potato and reserved fish stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and next 7 ingredients; cook 20 minutes. Stir in fish cook 5 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Stir in lemon juice, horse- radish and hot sauce. Discard bay leaves. Garnish, if desired. Yield: 14 1/2 cups This week my observations are rather generic, not food sensitive. Like Monica Lewinsky's talking points, these thoughts are not co- ordinated. Nonetheless, these thoughts will be interspersed be- tween the recipes. I don't want to Tripp you. I will write talking points for "Focus on Food," only if that will make me a Start. Mov- ing right along, the recipes are definitely a better bet than the commentary. Anne Graham Vandy's Butter-Braised Oysters 1 1/4 C unsalted butter 1 C all-purlame flour 3 t minced fresh cilantro 2 to 3t salt 1 T ground white pepper 114 t freshly ground black pepper 2 (12 oz.) containers fresh oys- ters, drained Tartar sauce Microwave butter in a 2-cup, glass measuring cup on high, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted. Skim off any white froth from top of butter. Strain off clear, yellow butter, discarding milk solid sedi- ments. Set 1 cup clarified butter aside. Stir together flour and next 5 in- gredients in a small bowl. Dredge oysters in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Heat clarified butter in a large heavy skillet over medium- high heat. Add oysters in batches and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden, turning once. Serve with tartar sauce. Yield: 4 to 6 appetizers. Here are a few "deep thoughts." Continued on page 65 I was watching Governor Moonbeam, a k a Jerry Brown, SoOn to be mayor Of Oailand, Calif., on MSNBC the otherday. If he wrote "Focus on Food," you would starve to death. When I was young, I thought he was a kick. When I became older and wiser, I thought he was a nut. What do space squirrels eat? As- tro-nuts. Now I am back to think- ing he is the best entertainment in town. You can e-mail him at <> He claims he will respond. Where's Linda Rondstadt when we need her? Watch out, Sam Cooper! Anyway, if lawyers are dis- barred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denot- ed, cowboys deranged. And the Baltimore Orioles, unfortunately, debased. On a more positive note, perhaps we can hope that politi- cians can be devoted. Watch out, Sam Cooper! Summer's here. We just had the longest day of the year. Well, FOCUS ON FOOD technically, anyway. So fish should be on the menu. Here are some great recipes: Mr. Allen's All-Day Fish " Chowder 3 fmh bouillon cubes 6 C boiling water 2 T all-purpose flour 3 T bacon drippings 4 large onions, chopped