Entries for the 17th Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off are due on Friday, August 11, 2006. Eight finalists will be selected from these entries to compete for cash prizes ($150 for first place, $100 for second place, and $75 for third place), a plaque, and recognition in the cook-off on Coast Day, Sunday, October 1, at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.
Sponsored by the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies, Coast Day is an annual educational festival and showcase for Delaware’s rich marine resources. The event typically attracts more than 10,000 visitors, and it has won state and national awards for its efforts to promote environmental education and stewardship. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Coast Day, which is always held on the first Sunday in October.
The crab cake cook-off first became part of Coast Day in 1990. Since that time, over 250 recipes have been submitted by professional and amateur cooks from across the country. They have used all manner of names and ingredients in their quest to concoct the recipe that will win the coveted title of “Delaware’s Best Crab Cakes.”
“Even after 16 years, participation is still strong in the Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-Off, with both professional and amateur cooks entering,” says Doris Hicks, seafood technology specialist for the Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service and organizer of the cook-off. “So many people seem to be into cooking today — maybe it’s the influence of all the cooking shows on television.”
Hicks adds that grocery stores have many ingredients that can update a traditional recipe or, she says, “You can stick to your old faithful, tried-and-true crab-cake recipe.”
Last year, Anne Haley, a resident of Bethany Beach, Delaware, won first place with her “South-of-the-Border Crab Cakes with Lime Yogurt Chutney.” Her winning recipe used cilantro, chili powder, and two jalapeño peppers, giving her crab cakes a spicy flavor. She then served them on a bed of chutney made from yogurt, grated lime zest, and lime juice. She dressed up her entry with a slice of lime, chopped tomato, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro as a garnish.
Haley has been invited to be a judge for this year’s competition — a time-honored tradition in which each year’s first-place winner is given an opportunity to judge the following year’s crab cake cook-off.
In 1999, the 10-year anniversary of the Crab Cake Cook-Off prompted Hicks to collect all of the award-winning recipes, which were then published in a commemorative Coast Day Crab Cake Cookbook. The 50-page spiral-bound booklet costs $4.00. It is available from the Marine Public Education Office in Newark at (302) 831-8083 or the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service in Lewes at (302) 645-4346.
The crab cakes must be made from 100% blue-crab meat. Each finalist will receive two pounds of jumbo lump 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.
For a complete set of contest rules and an entry form, or for more information, contact the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service at (302) 645-4346 or Rita Baty at email@example.com.
Coast Day 2005 Crab Cake Cook-Off Winning Recipe
“SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER CRAB CAKES WITH LIME YOGURT CHUTNEY”
by Anne Haley
Bethany Beach, Delaware
South-of-the-Border Crab Cakes:
2 pounds lump crab meat
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
melted butter to brush crab cakes
Lime Yogurt Chutney:
2 1/2 cups plain, nonfat yogurt
1 teaspoon lime zest, grated
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
To make South-of-the-Border Crab Cakes: Fold ingredients together, and form cakes. Let stand in refrigerator for two to four hours. Just before baking, brush cakes with melted butter. Bake on cookie sheets at 350° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
To make Lime Yogurt Chutney: Mix the ingredients together.
To serve: Serve South-of-the-Border Crab Cakes on top of chutney with a slice of lime and sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
2006 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 jumbo lump 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 1, 2006, 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 Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the
University of Delaware 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 11, 2006.
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 19958–1298
Entry forms also can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daytime Phone (required):
Title of Crab Cake Recipe:
List of Ingredients:*
* Recipe must be based on two pounds of crab meat and include amounts of each ingredient.