Hungry Coast Day visitors await their chance to sample a taste of seafood chowder from the ACF First State Chefs Association and the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association.

Recipes to enjoy

Coast Day seafood competitions wow judges, guests

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11:31 a.m., Oct. 11, 2011--Fans of seafood fans had their taste buds satisfied at the 35th Coast Day, held Oct. 2 at the University of Delaware’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes.

The annual event featured two competitions to select top crab cake and chowder recipes. In the Crab Cake Cook-Off, the panel of three judges chose “Carl’s Stuffed Crab Cake,” the appropriately-named creation of Carl Zampini of Newark, Del. A chef at the University of Delaware, Zampini also won the contest in 2008.

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“The Coast Day Crab Cake Cook-off is meant to be a fun event for both visitors and finalists,” said Doris Hicks, seafood specialist with Delaware Sea Grant and organizer of the Coast Day seafood competitions. “This year once again the fun was tasty too.Carl used a unique technique – stuffing the crab cake with a homemade remoulade sauce was the ticket to winning first place!”

Zampini squared off against seven other finalists in the 22nd edition of the contest. He received a $200 cash prize and a plaque. Second place and a $150 prize went to John Barczewski of Wilmington, Del., for his “JB’s Best Crab Cake.” Winning third place and $100 was Tim Scanlon of New Cumberland, Pa., for his “Timmy’s Tailgate Crab Cakes.”

Other finalists in the competition included Jack Bartley of Lincoln University, Pa., Terri Carr of Lewes, James Edward Christina of Wilmington, Stephanie Dumpson of New Castle, Del., and Kathy Scott of Wilmington.

Judging the friendly competition were last year’s winner Stevin Ruiz of Glen Mills, Pa., Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, and Alison Blyth, owner of the Rehoboth Beach, Del., restaurant Go Fish.

Coast Day guests also got a chance to try the winning soup in the Coast Day Chowder Challenge, a competition that lets visitors vote on soups prepared by two local chefs associations.

Visitors got to sample a two-ounce portion of each chowder and then vote for their favorite. In the end, the Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association took first prize over the First State Chefs Association.

Before Coast Day, each organization holds an internal competition to see which recipe to enter. For Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association, Jennifer Courville and Kahdeja Pirkle, both seniors in the Parkside High School Culinary Arts Program in Salisbury, Md., were the winners.

Both associations used clams donated by Seawatch International Inc., of Milford, Del., for the event. 

Coast Day, which is organized by UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, attracts thousands of visitors each year to celebrate Delaware’s coastal resources and experience marine research.

Winning crab cake recipes

First Place

Carl’s Stuffed Crab Cake

Carl Zampini, Newark, Del.

Crab Cakes

2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat

2 cups mayonnaise

2 eggs

4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

3 drops Worcestershire sauce

3 drops hot sauce

Juice of 2 lemons (no seeds)

1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

Cocktail Remoulade Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup horseradish

2 teaspoons capers

2 teaspoons chopped gherkins

1 teaspoon chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon chopped anchovies

Juice of 2 Meyer lemons

Crab Cakes: 

Mix mayo, egg, Old Bay, Worcestershire, hot sauce, lemon juice, and parsley. Add mix to crabmeat, mix lightly. Add 1/2 cup bread crumbs and mix (if too wet, add more bread crumbs). Scoop into the size of cake you want.

Stuff cake with 1 tablespoon of cocktail remoulade sauce. Sauté until brown on both sides. Bake in oven for 8 minutes.

Cocktail Remoulade Sauce:

Mix together and chill.

Second Place

JB’s Best Crab Cake

John Barczewski, Wilmington, Del.

Crab Cakes

2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat

1 cup mayonnaise 

2 large eggs

1 sleeve Saltine crackers, crumbled

2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Unsalted butter for sautéing

Mustard Crème Fraiche Sauce

1/2 cup crème fraiche

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons honey mustard

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Crab Cakes:

Mix all ingredients, except crabmeat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Lightly pick crab for shells. Do not break up any lumps. Gently fold crabmeat into wet ingredients. Hand-form into 8 cakes. Sauté in unsalted butter on medium-high heat until each side is golden brown and a nice crust has formed. Approximately 5 minutes on each side.

Mustard Crème Fraiche Sauce: 

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve on the side with crab cakes. Subtle, but tasty. 

Third Place

Timmy’s Tailgate Crab Cakes

Tim Scanlon, New Cumberland, Pa.

2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat

Bread crumbs from 3 pretzel rolls

2 tablespoons Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon Crazy Jane’s Mixed Up Salt

1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 teaspoons melted butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 eggs – separated

Butter for sautéing

Clean crabmeat. Add bread crumbs, seasoning, mayonnaise, melted butter, lemon juice and egg yolks. Mix gently. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in egg whites. Form into cakes and sauté in butter until golden on both sides.

Crab cakes may be prepared the night before and chilled overnight and sautéed at your tailgate. Enjoy with hard pretzels and Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard.

Winning Chowder Challenge recipe

Jennifer Courville and Kahdeja Pirkle

Seniors, Parkside High Culinary Arts Program

Delmarva Chefs and Cooks Association

4 ounces lean salt pork, diced finely

4 slices bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces butter

3 large sweet onions, diced finely

2 celery stalks with green tops, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart clam broth (or clam base)

2 bay leaves

Pinch of celery seed

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tablespoon hot sauce 

1 leek, chopped finely

3.5 pounds potatoes, chopped 1/4 inch

1 pound frozen sweet corn

2 quarts canned clams, reserve juice/liquor

1 pint cream

1/2 gallon milk

4 tablespoons parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 slices of green onion, to garnish

Croutons for garnish

Roux Ingredients:

4 ounces flour

4 ounces butter

Gather all ingredients in order as listed, it will be the order the ingredients are needed. Cut and prepare all ingredients for use.

In a large stockpot, on the lowest heat setting, add salt pork to pan; add bacon. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, allowing salt pork to render. Remove from heat and allow to sit another 15 minutes.

Add olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter, save remaining butter for later.

Add diced celery and sliced onion in the salt pork and bacon until onions take on a light brown color; add garlic last few minutes of browning.

Add clam broth and the clam liquor from the cans, scrape bottom of the pan to get browned bits from bottom of pot.

Melt butter for roux and add flour once melted, cook for 20 minutes.

Add bay leaves, a pinch of celery seed, the thyme, and the minced leeks. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the potatoes, bring to a boil for 30 seconds and reduce heat to barely a simmer.

Add the roux, cook for 20-30 minutes.

Add corn when potatoes are almost done.

Stir in clams, add milk and cream.

Simmer for another 15 minutes, add remaining butter, and allow to melt. Then add parsley.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove bay leaves.

Garnish with green onions and crouton garnish.

Photos by Evan Krape

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