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A Chesapeake Bay Crab Fest

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Crabcakes, succotash, and a healthy dose of Old Bay seasoning define this laid-back summer meal.

This menu (including the shopping list) serves four, but everything can be doubled for a larger crowd.

Celebrate summer Delmarva-style (that’s DELaware-MARyland-VirginiA). This dinner starts off with grilled-in-the-shell shrimp with an Old Bay-spiked cocktail sauce for dipping, then pairs the definitive Chesapeake crabcakes with two salads bursting with fresh-from-the-farm corn, beans, and tomatoes. Finish things off with a simple parfait of sweet, ripe peaches and honey whipped cream.

Menu Timeline

Up to 1 day ahead:

  • Make the cocktail sauce for the shrimp.

3 hours ahead:

  • Prepare the crabcake mixture and refrigerate.
  • Peel and marinate the peaches.
  • Make the bean salad.
  • Make the corn salad.

30 minutes ahead:

  • Grill the shrimp and serve them to guests with the cocktail sauce while you cook the crabcakes.

15 minutes ahead:

  • Shape and cook the crabcakes.

After dinner:

  • Make the honey whipped cream and assemble the parfaits.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 3/4 lb. assorted string beans (green beans, wax beans, purple beans, etc.)
  • 4 large ripe peaches (about 1-1/2 lb.)
  • 4-5 lemons
  • 3 medium ears fresh corn
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 15)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bulb garlic

Seafood, Eggs & Dairy

  • 2 lb. jumbo shrimp in the shell
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump or backfin lump crabmeat, fresh or pasteurized
  • 1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. plain low-fat yogurt

Other Groceries

  • 1 loaf soft white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 small package almond biscotti or amaretti cookies
  • 1 bottle prepared horseradish
  • 1 Tbs. amaretto

Pantry Staples

  • 2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Black peppercorns

The Menu


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