One of the best things about living in this region is the cuisine, especially enjoying our catch after a day of crabbing, and today we're going to bring a brand new recipe to the world: the Cramburger. Hi there, FishTalk Readers. As we move into the fall season I hope your fishbox overfloweth and your rods bendeth mightily. Back in the olden days of corded phones and four-channel television, the end of August and the beginning of September marked the start of the hot fishing season. Back then fishing during the dog days was extremely slow. The blues didn’t feed much in July and August and there were no stripers to speak of, much less provide the consistent action we now enjoy through the summer months. Yesterday’s September is today’s October. But one thing that’s as active during this month today as it was back then is the blue crab. This is a time of year when crabbing almost seems easy. Almost.
While crabbing isn’t exactly fishing it comes pretty dang close, and for any Chesapeake dweller its importance can’t be overstated. Even those of us who find it impossible to break away from casting and cranking (brethren!) look forward to the fall for the widespread availability and low cost of our favorite crabby crustaceans. So forgive me if I divert ever so slightly from the usual FishTalk mission of helping everyone catch more and bigger fish. Today, dear reader, I’d like to focus on a matter that may seem peripheral, but IMHO is every bit as important: how you eat your crabs.
Yes yes, I know, we all have our favorite steaming recipes and Old Bay- or JO-based spice mixes. That’s not what I’m talking about. Rather, I’d like to share with you all what I believe may be the most significant discovery I’ve made in my lifetime: the Cramburger.
While I don’t want to sound arrogant, I am claiming full responsibility for inventing this culinary delight. If anyone has made a Cramburger in the past it’s completely unbeknownst to me, and in all truthfulness I’d be shocked if someone else could lay legitimate claim to its creation. But having stumbled upon it I now have a driving desire to share this amazing thing with the rest of the world, and I can no longer keep it a secret. Please, fellow Chesapeakean, give this a shot. I promise you are in for the meal of your life.
- Pick 12 or 14 prime jimmies, and put the meat into a bowl.
- Steam a dozen manninos soft clams. Once steamed, remove them from their shells, rinse off sand and/or bottom mud as necessary, and remove the weird little snout cover thingie. Pull the tails off the bodies, then place both parts of the clams in the bowl with the crab meat.
- Add about a half cup of mayo, two tablespoons of Old Bay, three shakes from a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, two eggs, and eight or 10 pulverized Saltine crackers.
- Mix ever so gently, so as to not bust up the chunks of backfin nor pop the clam bellies.
- Form into cakes. Drop them into the deep fryer, and let ‘em sizzle and pop until they’re golden-brown.
- Serve on a bun lightly basted with mayo, and topped with a slice of tomato if you must.
There you have it, folks – the Cramburger. This uber-delightful combination of softshell clams and crabcake will be shockingly tasty until the moment you chomp into a chunk with the intact belly of a clam included, at which point your tastebuds will go supernova. Your eyes will roll back into your head, and your mind will go blank with ecstasy. For just one split second, you won’t even mind that you’re neither casting nor cranking.
- Lenny Rudow