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Crab "Toasties"

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Crab Toasties

- Merrill

Up in Maine, we're lucky to have access to all sorts of great local seafood. While Maine lobster tends to get the most press, my family is pretty addicted to Peekytoe -- also known as bay, or rock -- crab, which is actually a by-product of the lobster fishing industry (they get caught in the traps). We regularly have the "toasties" below for lunch, out on the front porch overlooking the ocean. They're nothing fancy, but that's mainly because we know better than to mess too much with the crabmeat, which is best left to shine on its own.

* Note: Although I call for Parmesan here, my mother (Veronica) would like it known that she prefers sharp white cheddar. I'll leave it up to you!

Crab Toasties

Serves 3, generously

  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh crabmeat (preferably Peekytoe, but stone crab and Dungeness are also good), picked over
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 English muffins, split and toasted
  • Grated Parmesan  (1 tablespoon per toastie) 

1. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4-inch thick and arrange in one layer on paper towels to get rid of some of the moisture (you can remove the seeds if you're feeling really motivated). Cover with another layer of paper towels, pressing gently, and let them sit while you assemble the rest of the ingredients for the toasties.

2. In a medium bowl, put the crabmeat, mayonnaise, sour cream, scallions and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Ever so gently, using your fingers, toss the ingredients together until just combined (you still want a few lumps of crabmeat when you're finished). 

3. Turn on the broiler and position a rack about five inches below the heating element. Assemble the toasties on a baking sheet: on each toasted English muffin half put one slice of tomato, followed by about a 1/3 cup of crabmeat. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Broil the toasties for 2 to 3 minutes until the cheese turns golden, watching carefully to make sure the edges of the muffins don't burn. Serve immediately.


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Comments (18)


about 5 years ago chefrockyrd

Thanks Merrill- Great photo! Downeast Maine crab meat is the fabulous. Whenever we see signs on the road here for "fresh picked crabmeat" I pull the car over! A lot of time its a lobsterman's wife who has started a cottage industry for herself. The lobsterman used to throw them back until some smart dame starting cooking and picking. They now have to do it in a separate place other than the home kitchen. So you will see a small addtion to the house and maybe a propane burner outside to cook the crabs. I am going to town to get some won ton wrappers for crab ravioli today!
from downeast Maine


about 5 years ago LynnieBNC

FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want them NOW.


about 5 years ago MTrue

These look fabulous and sweetly homey. I'm going to try them with Dungeness crab, since I'm out in California. Can't wait till crab season starts here!


about 5 years ago dymnyno



about 5 years ago TiggyBee

I made these for dinner tonight...amazing in every way!! Many thanks!


about 5 years ago peaberry

wow.......all I can say is, you have no idea how bad I wish I lived near the ocean. I am SO landlocked. My next life....................


about 5 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks, everyone, for the lovely comments, and sorry I've been MIA this week (post-wedding "mini-moon"). Looking forward to diving back in next week!


about 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Wow, these look incredible - an elegant spin on a tuna melt if there ever was one!


about 5 years ago thirschfeld

This makes me wish I was on the east coast. It is things like fresh crab, lobster, oysters and such that really make me miss living in NYC. I have been feeling the pangs of solitude or maybe that means fall is on its way.


about 5 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well, I'm with the other mothers out there, as I would definitely go with just a touch of sharp white Vermont cheddar. Just love this recipe. What a perfect summer treat. ;o)


about 5 years ago Lizthechef

My Mom would go for the Vt. cheddar too, and loved English muffins. We used to vacation in Grafton and they had a small cheese factory that produced wonderful cheddar.


about 5 years ago Gale

and still does


about 5 years ago Sagegreen

Yes, we really enjoy Grafton cheddar! That is what I will use when I make these great toasties, so much easier than making crabcakes, too.


about 5 years ago Culinista Annouchka



about 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

That is an insaley gorgeous photo - love the stand....one to copy! And this crab toasties are a winner, esp with the base of English muffins. Haven't had crab in ages.....inspired.


about 5 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

My mother would insist on white cheddar, too. Never thought to add tomatoes, but that was obviously a huge mistake! Next time I come across some peekytoe crab, this is first on the must-make list.


about 5 years ago dymnyno

These bring back memories...my mother made these when crab was in season..and so do I...so simple and delicious!


about 5 years ago cheese1227

Too funny. We call these "crabmeat crabbies" in my family. But they dont typically have tomatoes on them. I will have to try them with the addition.