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Ginger Port of J.O. Spice Company fame recently posted to Facebook, asking followers to tell their favorite ways of eating crab meat. I posted, "crab burritos" or "chimichungas." Now don't get me wrong, simple steamed crabs and crab cakes are indeed my fav. The burrito concept actually came from my husband Jon, the owner/artist here. This man eats more crabs than I've seen anyone eat -- and often -- not just all season long, but all year long! To him, it's a crab celebration nearly every week! I guess that's why he likes drawing pictures of crabs!
Anyway.... back to the burritos. I basically make crab cakes, wrap them in wonton sheets and deep fry them. Then, I serve them with a spicy cheese sauce, that resembles and can also be used as con queso cheese dip.
For the crab cakes -- I grew up taking a weekly trip to Lexington Market with my parents back in the 1960's. If we were well behaved while they shopped, sometimes my dad would take us up to the very top of the Market, to Faidley's and we'd share a scrumptious crab cake. I remember those days clear as a bell, and I've been hooked on crab ever since.
For the crab burritos, I base my crab cake recipe loosely on Faidley's recipe:
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1 cup crushed saltines (I use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Tabasco (optional)
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Package of wonton wrappers
Spread crab meat out in a flat pan or cookie sheet and sprinkle the crushed saltines (or bread crumbs over the top. In a small bowl mix together the mayo, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. Pour the mayo mixture over the crabmeat and gently toss or fold the ingredients together, taking care not to break up the lumps of crab meat (I use two spatulas for this). Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes before forming the cakes.
Spoon the mixture, about 1/8 cup (a heaping spoonful) at a time onto large wonton wrappers. Roll and fold each wrapper, wetting the folds so it looks like an eggroll. Fry the rolls, a few at a time, in hot oil (375 degrees) until golden brown. Drain rolls on a wire rack.
You can pretty much wing this on how you like it -- how many and what veggies and spices, peppers, etc. I make a bunch of it, as it doubles for con queso cheese dip, served with tortilla chips. I start this so it can simmer and melt while I make and assemble the burritos.
2 lb. box of Velveeta processed cheese
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup pickled/jarred jalapeno peppers, with a bit of the liquid
1 small chopped tomato
1 can chopped green chillies (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a pan on low heat (go slow, take your time, don't rush it or you'll set yourself up for a pan-scrubbing session when it scorches on the bottom). Heat until all gorgeously smooth, melty and cheesy, stirring often.
Pour a hefty spoonful of cheese over a burrito and enjoy!