Friday, April 26, 2013


Friendship Dairies will be having a food truck tour with celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito that will be passing through the New York Metro area this May.  The mobile mixer truck will be serving free 5-ounce Friendship Fit to Go™ 1% Low Fat, 1% Low Fat Pineapple, and 4% Regular cottage cheese samples with innovative mix-in options.  Check out the Friendship Dairies website to find where you can purchase their products in your area, to follow the food truck and to get recipes.  (Bear in mind that Friendship Dairies products are predominantly distributed along the East Coast of the US with limited distribution in other states.) 

To celebrate the upcoming food truck tour, Friendship Dairies is giving away to one lucky reader the following: 

-Branded Friendship cloth grocery bag ($15 value)

-$15 iTunes gift card (to create a mix for your workouts)

-Brita Filtered water bottle ($10 value)

-Rocco DiSpirito’s new cookbook: “Now Eat This! Italian: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mamas of Italy--All Under 350 Calories” ($26.99 retail)

-two Coupons for FREE Friendship Dairies products ($8 value) 


This contest is limited to US entries only, including Alaska and Hawaii residents, anddeadline to enter is Midnight, Tuesday, April 30.  

For complete information on how to enter (don't worryit's easy), go to my main blog, Judy's Kitchen.

Monday, October 1, 2012


With crabmeat left over from our last crab party that I froze and thawed, and some big shrimp that caught my eye at the fish market, I made a dinner for two with plenty of leftovers for the next day's big game.  We liked the flavorings in this recipe.  There's just a background suggestion of heat and it's not too salty.  A squeeze of lemon juice is all we added at the table.

Baked Shrimp with Crabmeat Stuffing
Adapted half recipe from
Rating:  9.5 out of 10

8 oz. crabmeat, shells and cartilege removed
3/4 - 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (I used 3/4 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter + 1-1/2 Tbsp. melted butter for tops
1/4 cup minced scallions, or onions
2 Tbsp. minced celery
2 Tbsp. minced green or red peppers
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1-1/2 tsp. minced or grated garlic
2 Tbsp. lite mayonnaise
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1/3 cup crushed saltines
1/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1-1/4 lb. large shrimp (10-15/lb. size), peeled with tails entact, deveined and butterflied.

Heat oven to 375F.  Spray a 9x12 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.  Place crabmeat in a large bowl and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning.  Toss lightly to combine; cover; refrigerate.

In a 10- or 12-inch saute pan or frying pan, heat oil and 1 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.  Add onions, celery and peppers and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in parsley and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 additional minute.  Off heat; cool at least 1/2 hour.  When vegetables are cool, add them to the crabmeat and toss lightly to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot sauce.  Pour over crab mixture and toss lightly to combine.  Fold in saltines, salt and pepper, mixing lightly but thoroughly.

Mound some crabmeat stuffing over each shrimp, using about 1 Tbsp. for each.  Place shrimp, stuffed sides up, in baking dish.  Drizzle with the 1-1/2 Tbsp. melted butter.  Bake about 20 minutes, or till shrimp is cooked through.  (If you want more browning, just place shrimp under the broiler for a minute or two before serving.)  Yield:  4-5 servings

Saturday, September 8, 2012


This crab salad is perfect for anyone who appreciates the delicate flavor of crab meat and doesn't like to cover it up with tons of spices and ingredients that mask it.  Four ingredients, not counting the crab meat and salt and pepper, and you're on your way to crab heaven.  Serve it as is, on lettuce or spinach, in a sandwich, or in a tomato or avocado.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Low-Fat Crab Salad for Two
Rating:  9.5 out of 10

6 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. Diamond sea salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. white pepper (or black, if preferred)
Optional:  pinch of Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp. lite mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp. plain, nonfat Greek yogurt*
1/2 lb. lump crab meat, picked over, shells and cartilage removed

In small bowl, thoroughly combine celery, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Old Bay (if using), mayo and yogurt.  Gently fold in crab meat, taking care not to break the lumps.  Chill in fridge at least 1/2 hour to blend flavors.  Serve as desired, in avocado shells, scooped tomato shells, on lettuce or other greens or as a sandwich.  Yield:  2 servings

*Buy a national brand of Greek yogurt,such as Chobani, Fage or Oikos, as store brands tend to be lip-puckering tart. 

Monday, August 27, 2012


The beautiful fried soft-shell crabs in the above photo were delicious, and tasted like they were freshly caught.  The truth is they had been in our freezer for over a month.

Crabs, whether they're raw or cooked, freeze well.  Right now, in our freezer, we have 1 lb. of picked, cooked crab meat, 4 crab cakes, half a dozen blue claws and half a dozen soft shells.  We'll be adding to that as the season progresses, but we'll also be feasting on all that great crab catch as we go along.

Double bag crabs for extra protection against freezer burn.  We wrap the soft shells in plastic wrap individually, then place inside freezer bags.  The blue claws are placed in a freezer bag, sealed, then placed in a second freezer bag.  How long will they keep?  We've been successful at 3 months.

Monday, September 5, 2011



Guy, Tom and Mark sponsored the third annual crab party at Brizes’ house, and Terry, the next-door neighbor, made these fantastic T-shirts for all of us.  Guy was the crab chef, and guests brought side dishes.  The weather decided to be ugly, and after the tables were set, it poured.  No matter, the party got moved to the garage where we all chowed down on some of the best blue claws we’ve ever had, meaty, sweet and delicious.
There I am in blue and white, Mary’s in green, and Rita is watching us chow down on blue claws.
Here are Guy and Mike.  Mike is wearing his new T-shirt.  He’s a neighbor of Brizes also.  (Guy and Mike are both Cleveland Browns fans.  Mike is from Ohio; Guy is from New Jersey.)

Enjoying a break from the rain:  Rita, Tom and Jim.

So here's what happened next:  Chandler, Terry’s hub, asked Guy if he would help out the following weekend as he hosted his crew before their next mission to Afghanistan, September 9.  Any time Guy can be near crabs, the answer is always yes.  He went back to his Oriental, NC, source to get more of those great crabs, and he gleefully helped Chandler get ready for the party.  I just showed up, and had the best time meeting Chandler’s wonderful crew and their spouses.  But this time, we didn’t have the normal steamed crabs.  Instead, Chandler introduced us to his grandmother’s recipe for Low-Country Stew.   (According to Wikipedia, Low-Country Stew falls into the general category of seafood boils, and each region of the country has its own version; i.e., New England Clam Bake, South Carolina Frogmore Stew, Louisiana Crawfish boil.)

Here is Chandler as he put the last layer into the stew pot.

As you can see, you need a 40-quart pot, preferably one that keeps the ingredients off the bottom, so the liquids don’t make them soggy. 

Lois Seagraves’ Low-Country Stew

INGREDIENTS:  1 cup vinegar
1 gallon water
3 oz. bottle hot sauce
1/2 handful of salt
1/4 handful of black pepper
4 large onions, cut into eighths
8 medium red potatoes, halved, or 16 smaller red potatoes
1 package Hilshire Farms Smoked Sausage, cut into chunks
6 ears of fresh corn, shucked, cut into 3 sections each
12 blue claw crabs, backs removed, cleaned
2 lbs. jumbo fresh shrimp in shells

Combine vinegar, water, hot sauce, salt, pepper, onions and potatoes in bottom of large (40-quart) pot with steaming basket that sits above the liquids.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cook 5 minutes.  Add sausage and corn, return to boil.  Add crabs; return to boil; cover about 7 minutes, or till crabs are almost cooked.  Add shrimp, cook another 3-4 minutes, or till shrimp are done.  Lift basket from pot and pour basket contents on paper-lined table.  Everyone digs in. 
Serves 8 - 12, depending on appetite


Monday, August 15, 2011


Of all places to find a crab cake recipe, AARP Magazine was not on my list.  The brief story in the April 2009 issue written by author Pat Conroy's wife, Cassandra King, drew me in.  They met over food, they romanced with food, and, in her words, "Pat said his crab cakes were so good I would want to marry him after tasting them.  They were, and I did."  With that kind of endorsement I just had to try the recipe, even though I was a skeptic.  How could these be good with so few ingredients?  Where would the flavor come from?  As my hubby, The Crab Guy, and I took our first bites, we understood completely that old adage, "less is more."  The flavor?  It comes from the crab meat, enhanced by a minimum of additives.  This is the best crab cake recipe ever.

The Conroys serve their crab cakes over arugula, tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and champagne vinegar.  Sounded lovely, maybe next time.  This time, we had fresh spinach sauteed lightly in olive oil and corn on the cob.  It was a meal to die for.

The Conroys use an entire pound of crab meat, yielding 4 generous crab cakes, for the two of them.  I halved the recipe to make one crab cake apiece for Guy and me.  It was plenty.

Crab Cakes at the Conroys'
Adapted from AARP Magazine, April 2009
Rating:  10 out of 10

Crab Cakes:
8 oz. fresh lump crab meat
1-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt, preferably grey salt
about 1/16 tsp. black pepper
1 small egg white
1-1/2 - 3 tsp. white whole wheat flour
2-4 tsp. unsalted butter
small cast-iron skillet or small flat, heavy skillet

Put crab meat in a bowl; pick over for shells.  Squeeze lemon juice over crab; salt and pepper lightly.  Gently toss together without breaking up crab meat pieces.  In a small dish, whisk egg white till foamy.  Pour over crab and gently mix in.  Using as little flour as possible, form mixture into two crab cakes.  Melt butter in cast-iron skillet (or in a flat, heavy skillet) until sizzling and just beginning to brown.  Carefully add crab cakes.  Brown on 1 side until crispy, about 2 minutes; turn carefully and brown the other side, about 2 minutes.  Remove to plates.  Serve with Caper Sauce.

Caper Sauce
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp. freshly chopped parsley
1-1/2 tsp. capers

Add butter to still-hot skillet, stirring to dislodge any crab bits still stuck to the skillet.  When butter begins to brown, add juice and turn off the heat.  Throw in capers and toss.  Drizzle sauce over crab cakes and serve.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The kitchen belongs to me:  I am the Crab Lady!  The Crab Guy is trying to invade my territory.  He insisted on making this recipe.

First, he steamed crabs that he caught.  Next, he picked.  For several hours.  He picked enough to make 1 lb. of crab meat.  Then he mixed the ingredients for crab cakes.  He used a recipe from rated 4-1/2 stars.  Many reviewers, however, said the recipe needed more flavor (hot sauce, Old Bay....).  The Crab Guy wanted to make the original recipe, but I insisted that he add a bit more hot sauce, which he did.  The recipe just said, "salt and pepper to taste," so he added 1/8 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.  It needed a bit more, so I've doubled the amount in the recipe below.

First, let me say that these were good crab cakes.  There is very little filler, mostly just a binder to hold the crab meat together.  The sauce (mine) was not in the original recipe, and goes well with the crab.  The concept of broiling versus frying is one I agree with in theory, but the reality is that broiling crab cakes makes for a somewhat hard crust.  My personal preference is for a crispy, more tender crust, which can only be had by sauteeing or frying.

If you make these, be sure you pick through the crab meat and get all the pieces of shell and cartilage out.  There's nothing worse than biting into a crab cake and getting a mouthful of shells.  And, by the way, my favorite crab cakes are still Maryland Pavilion Crab Cakes, first introduced at the 1964 World's Fair.

Maryland Crab Cakes II
Adapted from
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Spicy Ranch Aioli:
1/2 cup bottled ranch dressing
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. finely chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

Crab Cakes:
1 lb. crab meat, picked over to remove shells and cartilage
1-1/2 Tbsp. dry bread crumbs
2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. sea salt (changed from the original)
1/8 tsp. black pepper (changed from the original)
1 egg
1-1/2 tsp. ground dry mustard
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce (changed from the original)

In small bowl, combine aioli ingredients; set aside.  Preheat broiler.  Combine crab meat, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.  Beat together egg, mayo, hot sauce and mustard.  Combine with other ingredients and mix well, but lightly, taking care not to press too hard on the crab meat.  Form into patties and place on a lightly greased broiler pan or baking sheet.  Broil for 10-15 minutes, until lightly brown.  Serve with spicy ranch aioli.   Yield:  5 crab cakes