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Lewes, Delaware
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July 14, 2000     Cape Gazette
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July 14, 2000

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, July 14 - July 20, 2000 - 67 Fo,:)D & DRINK Entries sought for Coast Day cook-off The Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off, sponsored by the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate College of Marine Studies, is calling for entries for this year's contest. Past entries have ranged from the exotic "French Con- fetti Crab Cakes" to the homegrown "Red, White and Blue Crab Cakes." Since the contest was established in 1990, recipes with all manner of names and ingredients have been submitted by professional and amateur cooks from the Delmarva area who hope to win the coveted title of Delaware's best crab cakes. Last year, Carol Hunter of Wilmington won the top prize with her "Just Crab Cakes - Almost." As first-place winner in the 1999 Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off, Hunter has been invited back to be one of the judges at this year's competition. Eight finalists will compete for cash prizes - $150 for first place, $100 for sec- ond and $75 for third - and recognition in the cook-off on Coast Day, Sunday, Oct. 1, at the University's Hugh R. Sharp campus in Lewes. Coast Day is the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate of Marine Studies' annual educational festi- val and showcase for Delaware's rich ma- rine resources. The event typically attracts more than 10,000 visitors and has won state and national awards for its efforts to pro- mote environmental education and stew- ar " 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 d the event's organizer. "From the entries, we'll select eight recipes base.d on origlity and an appealing ballc of bluo-rab-meat and other'in finalists will then participate in the cdtk- off at Coast Day," "Over the years, we've seen many cre- ative concoctions and cherished family recipes," Hicks continued. "Predictable in- gredients have included cracker or bread crumbs, mayonnaise and crab seasoning. In addition, we've seen some really interest- ing variations that have included liquid smoke, portabello mushrooms, mango or bean sprouts. The crab cakes have been broiled, baked and fried. One contestant even used an egg-shaped ceramic smoker to prepare his entry." Last year, Hicks collected 10 years of the award-winning recipes and published them in the commemorative "Coast Day Crab Cake Cookbook." The 50-page spiral bound booklet is available from the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service in Lewes at 645-4346. The cookbook is $3. The crab cakes must be made from 100 percent blue crab meat; all other types of crab meat are unacceptable. Each contes- tant will receive two pounds of crab meat to use the day of the competition. All other in- gredients and cooking utensils are the con- testants' responsibility. Judging will be based on originality, predominance of crab meat, taste and texture. Entries are due Friday, Aug. 11. For a complete set of rules and an entry form, or for more information, call the Marine Advi- sory Service at 645-4346 or e-mail Rita Baty at Here's Carol Hunter's winning entry from last year: JUST CRAB CAKES - ALMOST 2 ibs. lump crab meat 2 eggs 3 T mayonnaise 2 T Dijon mustard 2 t Worcestershire sauce 2 T chopped cilantro 2 T f'mely chopped shallot 2 t Old Bay seasoning 2 T olive oil 2 T butter salt and white pepper to taste 1 T each red, green, yellow pepper for garnish Pick over crab meat, removing any carti- lage. Beat eggs and then add rest of ingredi- ents except olive oil, butter and bell pep- pers. Gently mix all ingredients. Make into cakes approximately 2 inches in diameter by 3/4 inches high. Saut6 in the olive oil and butter until golden brown on both sides. Garnish with red, green and yellow pepper finely diced. Cape Gazette file photo The crab cake cook-off highlights one of Delmarva's most valuable seafood resources - the blue crab. Many wines pair well with dessert I want to tell you I had such a grdat trip and found so many new places and treats that I wish I didn't have to finish the dessert part of the series. My love for some dessert wines is the only incentive to plod on to the conclusion. Over the last few years, I have touched on wine with dessert. It is an area that is of- ten overlooked and many will serve a di- gestive such as brandy with this course. This, my dear friends, is a grand faux pas. There are many fine dessert wines that are produced to be consumed at the end of the meal and proper planning will even allow you to finish up something you opened for the main course. Let's start there. Did you know that Cabernet Sauvignon complements many chocolate desserts? How about an old style Chardonnay with an apple dessert or a nice pear-flavored Chenin with raspberries and sweetened cream? I think by now you are beginning to get the idea. This is really a study of how your taste memory works and how much imagination you can bring to your menu planning. Although this is a cost effective way to devise a menu, most who serve dessert wine are not moderate in their taste, diet or expenses. The following is for those sybarites. Let me start with my favorites: Late har- vest Gewurtzraminer with spiced pear tart; Oloroso sherry with pecan pie; a Moseller Continued on page 68 Writer's block yields chilled soup recipes for summer Well. I had writer's block this week. Actually, writer's block is the polite way to say, "I would rather empty the dishwasher than think." See? I always "Focus on Food." Let's go back to my major in college: philosophy. I think, therefore I am. So now, I emptied the dishwasher, therefore, I am. Plato?ocrates? Aristotle? No, no. Nicola's? No. Grotto's. Well, whatever. I do try to think, so therefore, I hope I am. Green eggs and ham Sam I am. Anyway, I have a friend who wrote a bestseller and ! was vvitcliing her on a national TV FOCUSON show.:While I was emptying the - d/slagfcour, The nation- long2 Ten years? Writer's block, a !d)herdae book was she:anSWered. Now she's a star. I g.Xdid, it.4ake her so  guess I should go empfy her dish- washer. "You are a blockhead, Charlie Brown." My writer's block was real, though. I guess it's the pressure that comes with writing for the Cape Gazette. Maybe I should scale down, slow down and write for the Washington Post or the New York Times. Yeah, yeah - that's the ticket. Hey, I am proud to work for the greatest newspaper in the USA. Seriously. We publish everyday except Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Satur- day. We are pretty cool. You can be too. Buy the paper. Well, I guess you do, if you are reading this. Excuse me for a moment. "Pru- dence, please stop barking when your mouth is full. Thank you." I have the only dog I know who can bark with a meaty bone in her mouth. Up with which I will not put. You are not, I repeat, not (in deference to my mother) to talk when your mouth is full. Perhaps, in deference to Focus on Food, I will just stop talking, Harpo. Here's a cooking tip you will not find anywhere else. This is an exclusive from the Cape Gazette. Extra, Extra, hear all about it. Here's the tip. The newspaper was soaking wet yesterday. The automatic watering system began too soon and soaked all the news- papers at my vegetable stand. This is the exclusive-'food' tip for you. I took the newspaper out, cut out . the crossword puzzle, nuked it in the microwave for exactly 66 sec- onds and voila - a dry crossword puzzle. This is not parchment. Without mincing words, so to speak, I had a dry newspaper. And the good news is that all this recipe calls for is a pencil and in my case, a big eraser. Summer is a great time for cold soups. I have three "soup"erb recipes I hope you will enjoy. CHILLED CREAM VICHYSSOISE 4 leeks, white part, finely chopped 1/4 C finely chopped onion 1/4 C butter medium-sized Idaho potatoes, peeled 1 carrot Continued on page 68