Cracker or bread crumbs, green or red peppers, mustard or mayo . . . what do you put in your crab cakes? Your recipe may be a winner if you enter the Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off, sponsored by the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate College 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-off at Coast Day, on Sunday, October 4, at the University's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
Coast Day is the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate College of Marine Studies' annual educational festival and showcase for Delaware's rich marine resources. The event typically attracts more than 10,000 visitors and has won state and national awards for its efforts to promote environmental education and stewardship.
"Our crab cake cook-off highlights one of Delmarva's most valuable seafood resources -- the blue crab," says Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for the University's Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service and the event's organizer. "Each year, seafood lovers with creative concoctions and cherished family recipes enter the contest. We select eight entries based on originality and an appealing balance of blue-crab meat and other ingredients to compete in the cook-off. Those eight finalists then prepare their recipes for a distinguished panel of judges at Coast Day. It's a lot of fun for the contestants and for the seafood lovers who enjoy watching them."
Last year, Cherry Barranco of Milton, Delaware, won the top prize with "Dad's Crab Cakes." As first-place prizewinner in last year's cook-off, 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 100% blue-crab meat; all other types of crab meat are unacceptable. Each contestant will receive two pounds of blue-crab meat to use the day of the competition. All other ingredients and cooking utensils are the contestants' responsibility. Judging will be based on originality, predominance of crab meat, taste, and texture.
Entries are due Friday, August 14. For a complete set of contest rules and an entry form, or for more information, please contact the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at (302) 645-4346 or Doris Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dad's Crab Cakes
by Cherry Barranco, Milton, Delaware
2 pounds crab meat
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 cup crushed saltine crackers
1 teaspoon Tabasco
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 ounce parsley
Dash of garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Form into crab cakes and refrigerate until firm. Broil in oven or fry in olive oil until golden brown. Serve with fresh salsa or favorite condiments.
1998 Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off
Official Rules and Entry Form
1) One entry per person. Each recipe must be an original creation of the contestant.
2) Two pounds of blue-crab meat will be provided to each contestant by the cook-off sponsors. All other ingredients must be provided by the contestants.
3) All cooking appliances and utensils used in the cook-off must be provided by the contestants. A 110-volt electricity source and back-up equipment will be available at the cook-off.
4) Judging will be based on taste, originality, balance of crab meat, and texture.
5) Eight finalists will be selected from all entries by a panel of seafood experts. These finalists will be eligible to compete at the final competition at Coast Day, Sunday, October 4, 1998, in Lewes, Delaware. If one or more finalists are unable to attend the finals, the cooks with the next highest scores will be invited to participate.
6) All recipes entered become the property of the University of Delaware Sea Grant College Program and Graduate College of Marine Studies. Recipes may be duplicated for the Coast Day audience and used in Coast Day publicity.
7) The deadline for entries is Friday, August 14, 1998.
8) Contestants must register for the cook-off via the official entry form or a photocopy, or include all the requested information on a separate piece of paper and mail to the address below. All finalists will receive confirmation of their entry, directions to the site, and additional instructions for the cook-off by mail.
Mail entry forms to:
Crab Cake Cook-Off
University of Delaware
Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service
700 Pilottown Road
Lewes, DE 199581298
Title of Crab Cake Recipe:
List of Ingredients:*
* Recipe must be based on two pounds of crab meat and include amounts of each ingredient.