Celebrating the Traditional Flavors of Maryland
I like to consider myself a true Marylander. I've been living here for several years and don't plan to leave anytime soon. I have a place in my heart for my home state of Oklahoma, but it's no match for the east coast, especially if you love fun travels and great food. This Sunday the Baltimore Ravens are in the Superbowl, as most of you know. I'm so not a sports fan, but I am a huge fan of Baltimore and all of Maryland. If I was ever excited about tailgating food, it's now!
|Inner Harbor - Baltimore, MD|
Home to the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is known for its fresh seafood, but more than anything, its crabs. In fact I never experienced an authentic crab cake until I first ate one at Phillip's seafood restaurant at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD. In Frederick, MD I'm lucky to be able to get Phillips Crab Cakes in the freezer aisle if I can't make it out to a restaurant for dinner, but if you don't have these options in your area, you can recreate these Maryland crab cakes with this recipe and cooking guide. The perfect crab cake has little filler in it, and is bursting with real, fresh crab meat and Maryland's essential seafood spice Old Bay (pictured above).
I often include the iconic blue and yellow spice tin in my welcome baskets for out-of-town house guests. You can't call yourself a true Marylander if you don't cook your seafood with Old Bay. If Old Bay seasoning isn't available in your area, you can find it online, or you can try recreating the flavor by mixing paprika, salt, celery salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Click here for a simple recipe to make your own Old Bay spice mixture.
An Old Bay shrimp boil is another Maryland favorite. You can use this classic recipe. I like making mine with just the shrimp, sweet corn, and red potato wedges. For a big southern kick, add in one Zatarain's spice packet and Zatarain's shrimp and crab boil liquid.
The Old Bay seasoning is also perfect for steaming Maryland crabs. We enjoy jumbo blue crabs including our famous soft shell crabs - soon to be on a Washington D.C. episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern! I'm such an airhead, before moving to Maryland I actually thought soft shell crabs were a specific type of crabs all their own, but they're actually regular crabs that are molten, whose new shells have yet to re-harden, making them edible with the shell on. They're often enjoyed sauteed or battered and fried.
If you're tailgating with Baltimore Ravens in mind, consider incorporating these traditional Maryland flavors. Pair them with Maryland baked corn and of course some New England potatoes. Don't forget one of our region's most celebrated beers - Yuengling!
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