Dinner — “Balmer” Style

24 Jul

CHESAPEAKE FRIED CHICKEN

SERVES 4

This recipe (found at www.Saveur.com) comes to us from Chuckie’s (inside Hollins Market) in Baltimore, Maryland, which locals considered to have the juiciest, most delectable fried chicken north of Kentucky. Their secret? Using the truly amazing Old Bay seafood seasoning, of course. www.oldbay.com

1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 quart buttermilk
3 drops Tabasco
5 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Frying oil

1. Arrange chicken in a shallow baking dish. Combine buttermilk, Tabasco, and 2 tbsp. Old Bay. Pour over chicken, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Sift together flour, remaining 3 tbsp. Old Bay, and pepper to taste into a large mixing bowl. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and dredge pieces in seasoned flour until well-coated.

3. Fill a large, deep skillet with oil to a depth of about 1″. Heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Working in batches, add chicken and fry, turning often, until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes in all. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and continue to cook, turning several times, until tender, 15–20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and drain on paper towels.

MARYLAND CRAB CAKES

While visiting Nick’s Inner Harbor Seafood in Baltimore, Saveur.com enjoyed these crab cakes. In this recipe, they are prepared as an appetizer, but feel free to make six large cakes and serve as an entrée.

2 lbs. jumbo lump crabmeat
2 eggs
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, minced
6 tbsp. cracker meal
Vegetable oil

1. Discard any cartilage or shell from crabmeat. Mix together eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and parsley in a mixing bowl.

2. Add crab, taking care not to break up crabmeat. Add cracker meal, then shape mixture into 18  2″ cakes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

3. Pour vegetable oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1⁄4″ and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the cakes until golden brown, turning once, about 5 minutes per side.

MARYLAND CRAB SOUP

SERVES 4 – 8

Eddie’s Market in Baltimore, Maryland, shared this recipe with Saveur.com; it’s a great way to use up the corn and steamed crab left over from a crab feast. www.eddiesmarket.com

3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium boiling potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped
1⁄2 lb. green beans, trimmed into 1″ pieces
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans
1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen peas
4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1 1⁄2 tbsp. dry mustard
Pinch red pepper flakes
1  28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, green beans, corn, lima beans, peas, worcestershire sauce, Old Bay, mustard, red pepper flakes, and 6 cups water in a large pot. Add tomatoes, crushing them in your hand, and juice from can. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Add crabmeat to soup & simmer 45 minutes more, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

LADY BALTIMORE CAKE

SERVES 10 – 12

A lady cake is a butter cake; this one was dubbed Baltimore for its fancy icing (the city was once famous for its candy making).

FOR THE CAKE:
3 1⁄2 cups sifted cake flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. salt
8 oz. butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1⁄2 tsp. rosewater
8 egg whites

FOR THE ICING:
4 cups sugar
6 egg whites
1⁄2 tsp. rosewater
1⁄2 cup chopped raisins
1⁄2 cup chopped figs
2 tbsp. chopped candied orange peel
1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans

1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 375°. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl; set aside. Put butter in bowl of a standing mixer and beat on medium high for 2 minutes, then gradually add sugar, beating until butter is light and fluffy. Add flour to butter in three parts, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth after each addition. Add rosewater and set aside.

2. Beat egg whites in a clean bowl on high speed until stiff but not dry. Gently stir about one-third of the whites into batter to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites in two parts. Divide batter between three greased cake pans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3. For the icing: Bring 2 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat, add sugar, and stir until dissolved. Continue to boil for about 5 minutes more, then remove from heat. Beat egg whites in bowl of a standing mixer on medium speed until stiff but not dry, about 1 minute. Still beating, pour sugar syrup in a thin stream into whites and beat until icing is room temperature, about 10 minutes. Beat in rosewater. Reserve 3 cups icing, then mix raisins, figs, orange peel, and 1/2 cup of the pecans into remaining icing.

4. Place bottom layer of cake on a plate, spread with one-third of fruit-and-nut icing, and top with second layer. Spread with same icing and top with third layer, icing it, too. Ice top (over fruit-and-nut icing) and sides with plain icing. Press remaining 1 cup of pecans onto sides.

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