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“Putting a lot of junk in a crab cake is one of the biggest transgressions in American cookery,” says celebrity TV chef Andrew Zimmern. “If you don’t overmix, and don’t pack your mounds too tightly, you will experience pure, unadulterated crab cake heaven.“

The mix of fresh crab, avocado and juicy heirloom tomatoes here is a classic combination. But Sue Zemanick makes it seem new by tossing the salad with a vibrant, spicy dressing spiked with jalapeño.

Prepare hefty soft-shell crab sandwiches by layering salty slices of pancetta, slabs of tomato and a remoulade made with store-bought mayonnaise.

The salty and piquant anchovy- and-Parmesan dressing for this salad is tossed with lettuce and store-bought roasted peppers

Gabriel Rucker (an F&W Best New Chef 2007) tweaks French dishes like céleri remoulade, the mayo-dressed celery-root salad.

New Orleans chefs often drown seafood in rich, spicy sauces, but here, chef Jason McCullar simply dresses sweet crabmeat (a Louisiana staple) in lemon-scented aioli.

This gumbo from chef Donald Link owes its flavor to the roux, a mix of flour and oil that’s cooked until it’s coffee-colored.

Chef Michael Psilakis’s bright, fresh crab tacos incorporate traditional Latin ingredients and a hit of Asian chile sauce. Cooked shrimp would be great here as well.

Crab imperial is a classic Maryland dish made with blue crab bound in a mayonnaise-based sauce. In place of the mayo, Michael Mina makes a hollandaise sauce, which makes the spread even silkier.

Pinot Blanc, a.k.a. the poor man’s Chardonnay, has a bright acidity that’s terrific with dishes like this lush pasta from Marcia Kiesel.

DeeAnn Budney makes these fantastically spicy crab cakes with sweet Dungeness crab meat, but blue crab works too.

Here, Bobby Flay combines morsels of sweet crab with Asian flavors—lush coconut milk, piquant lime juice and aromatic cilantro—then serves it with salty chips.

Jean Georges Vongerichten reconfigured a crab and grapefruit salad into crab balls rolled in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and sesame seeds. The side salad is a fabulous mix of tart (grapefruit), spicy (Thai chile) and sweet (ginger syrup).

Cioppino is a San Francisco seafood stew that owes its origins to fishermen from Italy’s Ligurian coast.

Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking foods like crab, mackerel or lobster in coconut milk. (The word rundown refers to the simmering down of the coconut milk.) Bradford Thompson uses chunks of lump crabmeat in this spicy, rich coconut-curry stew.

Andrew Zimmern adds depth to his rich seafood chowder by making an easy stock with corn cobs and shrimp shells. Plenty of cream and butter make this chowder irresistibly decadent.

Sandro Gamba uses nonfat yogurt in many of his sauces and salad dressings. Here he mixes it with succulent Dungeness crab, a high-protein seafood that’s also high in iron and zinc.

Valeria Huneeus loves tossing fresh crab with sweet and soft avocados, a little coconut milk and fresh ginger, then serving it in a glass, shooter-style, with a thick slice of avocado on top.

José Andrés says: “I love America! Without a doubt, one of my favorite American ingredients is blue crabs, a true delicacy! And a great value, I think.” This recipe is his twist on the traditional Basque txangurro (crab simmered with tomato), crossed with a Galician empanada (a savory pie).

Lump crabmeat is mixed with only enough bread crumbs and mayonnaise to hold it together, then coated with more crumbs and fried to a golden brown. A mixture of sour cream and horseradish provides lively accompaniment.

The secret to this soup—prepared with store-bought ingredients—is to buy the best-quality bonito you can find. Look for it at Japanese markets.

Bruce Bromberg and Eric Bromberg’s father, Myron, prepares this rich and delicious starter for almost every family celebration.

Shawn McClain blends Dungeness crab with Korean kimchi and panko (Japanese bread crumbs) to transform American crab cakes into Asian-style burgers.

David Lentz arrange soft-shell crabs on a baguette with bacon, cabbage slaw and mustard crème fraîche and eats the sandwich open-faced, though it’s neater with the top on.

This easy, savory bread pudding is a decadent mix of custardy bread and sweet crabmeat.


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