When you think of Maryland, you probably think of the Chesapeake Bay and if you think of the Chesapeake Bay, you probably think of blue crabs. The bay is an estuary (where saltwater and freshwater
mix) and the perfect environment for blue crab. In fact, the Chesapeake Bay produces 50 percent of the blue crab harvest in the United States.
If it’s hot where you are, you might welcome this no-cook crab salad recipe that does not involve an oven. We served this on endive boats for a lovely appetizer pre-concert, but you could put it on crackers or even a soft roll for a crab salad sammie.
Check out the wild horses on Assateague Island National Seashore, near Ocean City, where you can swim, hike the beach, kayak, fish or birdwatch.
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 8 oz. fresh crab meat
- Old Bay seasoning, to taste
In a medium bowl, add celery, scallion, mustard and mayo. Mix until well combined. Gently fold in crab meat, taking care not to break up large lumps or claw meat. Add Old Bay seasoning to taste. Let chill before serving.
We’ve talked before about Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, a.k.a. King Salmon, a.k.a Chinook salmon, the state fish of Alaska. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which may aid in heart health,
reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of stroke.
We especially love the flavor of smoked salmon. We’ve been buying Costco’s Alaskan version for several years now (they also carry Norwegian smoked salmon). Wild caught, it contains no artificial colors or preservatives. We took a few liberties with Ina Garten’s
Smoked Salmon Dip. Double this recipe if you’re having a party, otherwise, it’s the perfect amount for a pre-dinner nibble with some raw veggies and crackers.
Rising over 20,000 feet, Denali is North America’s tallest mountain. Sitting amid 9,400 square miles of parkland, this jewel in the national park system is bigger than the state of New Hampshire and contains only one road.
Smoked Salmon Dip
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
- 2 ounces smoked salmon, diced
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, mix cream cheese with yogurt until smooth. Add lemon juice and horseradish. Mix again. With a wooden spoon, add salmon and mix until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled with crudité and crackers.
Everyone likes chile relleno and who doesn’t like eggrolls? Combine the two, and you’ve got a chile relleno eggroll. As ethnic foods go, it’s as mashed up as America. A traditional Tex-Mex dish, chile relleno is
a usually a poblano pepper, stuffed with cheese, covered with an egg batter and then fried. The chile relleno eggroll, a Denver dish, features all of the cheesy goodness of chile relleno within the crispy confines of an eggroll wrapper. We used sweet mini peppers as two of these fit nicely in the eggroll dough. We used Monterey Jack cheese but feel free to use cheddar, havarti or whatever is your favorite.
We thought these would be more challenging to make and were surprised by how easy they were. The trickiest part is wrapping the eggroll, but it’s a breeze if you follow our video tutorial (see our Instagram video here).
You only have a few more weeks to check out “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, closing April 2, 2017.
Chile Relleno Eggrolls
- 8 sweet mini peppers, 2 inches or less
- 4 eggroll wrappers
- Monterey Jack cheese, cut into sticks
- Water in a ramakin
- Vegetable oil
Cut stem from peppers. Make a small slice vertically down each pepper (do not cut in half) and remove seeds. Stuff with a chunk of Monterey Jack cheese, enough to fill the cavity of the pepper. Lay eggroll wrapper out like a diamond. Place two peppers on the dough horizontally, leaving a half inch of eggroll dough on either side. Apply water along the bottom two edges. Fold bottom point up. Fold in edges. Apply water so that edges adhere to dough. Roll rest of eggroll up tightly like a cigar and apply water to remaining point until it adheres to the dough. Repeat with remaining peppers. Cook in vegetable oil heated to 350 degrees until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Eat as soon as eggrolls are cool enough to handle while cheese is still gooey.
We here in the StateEats Kitchen love our party foods. Whether it’s flatbread, chicken wings, potato skins or even toasted ravioli, we’ve
always said we could eat an entire meal of just appetizers. Lucky for us, the big game is this weekend where we intend to do just that.
Deviled eggs are a standard at football parties across the country but deviled eggs with crab? Oh, that brings it up to a whole new level. This is a more decadent deviled egg with a nod to the First State’s most cherished product that brought in a dockside value of $3.76 million in 2014. We used sriracha mustard to amp up the spice but if you can’t find it, just use equal parts Dijon and sriracha sauce, or skip the sriracha altogether if you don’t want the heat.
Check out the Johnson Victrola Museum in Dover. This small but quirky museum is named for Delaware native Eldridge Reeves Johnson, who founded the Victor Talking Machine Company.
Deviled Eggs with Crab
- 6 hard boiled eggs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha mustard
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- 4 ounces lump crabmeat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Old Bay seasoning (for topping)
- Chive tops (for topping, optional)
Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out egg yolks and place in small mixing bowl. Add mayo, mustard, relish and chives. Mix well. Gently add in lump crabmeat and stir just until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the mixture back into the egg whites. Top with Old Bay seasoning and chive tops if using.
We’ve talked before about Arizona’s unique state symbols. Any state that has an official march song, an official state neckwear and an official state fossil also needs an official state snack. We suggest Cheese Crisps.
Purportedly first invented in Tuscon at El Charro Cafe, this tasty treat is sort of an open faced quesadilla. It works best with thin flour tortillas so leave those thick tortillas for your burritos and fajitas. Use whatever cheese you like — we used a combo of cheddar and asiago — and top with mild (or spicy if you dare) chili peppers.
Check out the array of night programs at Saguaro National Park with two distinct districts, each outside of Tucson, including moonrise hikes, night walks, and star parties.
- 2 flour tortillas
- 2-3 teaspoons butter
- 2 cups grated cheese (we used cheddar and asiago)
- ¼ cup anaheim or poblano chili pepper, chopped
Lightly butter both sides of tortillas. Place them on a wire rack and then place on top of baking sheet. Place in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until tortillas are crisp and beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place one cup of grated cheese on each tortilla and then add chopped chili peppers. Change to broil setting and then return tortillas to oven until cheese is melted and bubbling on the edges.
Oregon designated the hazelnut as its state nut in 1989. The Beaver State produces 99 percent of the US crop so this little filbert is an important part of economy. And did you know, some think the word
filbert is derived from the term “full beard” which refers to the husk covering some varieties?
Hazelnuts have a rich, delicious flavor that marries well with apples. Along with dried cranberries and blue cheese, this appetizer was a fall flavor explosion that made us very happy. Try making this on Thanksgiving day to ward off the hunger pangs before dinner.
Crater Lake is the nation’s deepest lake at 1,945 feet. The intense blue of the water is due to its purity. Because it is strictly fed by rain and snow, many experts think it is the cleanest large body of water in the world.
Hazelnut, Apple and Blue Cheese on Crostini
- Olive oil
- Baguette, sliced
- 1/3 cup onion, diced finely
- 1 cup apple, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 2/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
Brush olive oil on sliced baguette. Broil in oven until bread is lightly toasted. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil. Add diced onion. Heat until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, add apple, cranberries, blue cheese, hazelnuts, maple syrup, and horseradish. Add onion. Mix to combine. Top baguette slices with about 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture. Broil in oven for 2-4 minutes or until blue cheese melts. Serve immediately.
We’ve talked before about how Walla Walla onions are Washington’s official state vegetable thanks to some lobbying
schoolkids. Available mid-June to August, these favored alliums have a very low amount of pyruvic acid which is why they are so mild.
We admit to being huge fans of caramelized onions with recipes here and here, but this Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread couldn’t be any easier. Cut it up into smaller portions as an appetizer paired with wine or beer, or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp and a salad as part of a full meal. If you can’t find Walla Walla onions, use regular white onions and add a pinch of sugar when the onions are done.
Olympic National Park is the fifth most-visited national park. With almost a million acres, Olympic contains the only temperate rainforest in the contiguous United States, but is also boasts miles of coastline and majestic mountains.
Caramelized Walla Walla Onion Goat Cheese Flatbread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium Walla Walla onions, thinly sliced
- Pinch of sugar (optional)
- 1 cup torn arugula
- 2 8”x11” flatbreads
- 4 ounces goat cheese
To caramelize onions – heat olive oil in sauté pan until hot. Add onion. Cook on medium-low heat until onion begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt after 10 minutes. Cook another 10-15 minutes or until onions are a deep golden brown. Remove from heat, add arugula. Season with pepper and a pinch of sugar (if desired).
Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto each flatbread. Top flatbread with half the onion/arugula mixture. Top with half the goat cheese. Repeat with the remaining flat bread. Heat at 425 degrees for about 7-9 minutes or until goat cheese is melted and flatbread is crisp.
We don’t know about you, but when we think of the foods of Virginia, two things come to mind: Smithfield ham (which is a type of country ham protected by state law and only produced in the town
of Smithfield) and peanuts. There are actually thousands of peanut cultivars but the four main groups grown in the U.S. include Spanish, Runner, Valencia and Virginia. Virginia peanuts are mostly grown in southeastern Virginia but also in the Carolinas. Virginia peanuts are prized because they are bigger than the other types.
For those who love sweet and salty snacks to go with a beer or cocktail, this recipe will deliver. Just try to keep yourself from eating too many at once, we found them totally addictive. You’ve been warned.
Enjoy the wildflowers on the historic Skyline Drive which covers 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park. Be sure to allow enough time for checking out the visitor center, hiking, exploring neighboring towns, and of course, eating.
Sweet and Savory Peanuts
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (up to ¼ teaspoon if you like spicy)
- 1 ½ cups lightly salted Virginia peanuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
In a large bowl, place agave syrup and spices (everything except the sugar). Stir until well blended. Add peanuts and stir to coat. Spread peanut mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees, stirring every five minutes for 20 minutes or until nuts are caramel brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle on sugar, then toss with spatula until nuts are fully coated. Let cool. Break up into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.
Lobster is not the official state food of Maine, but it should be, with the love of the crustacean evident from lobster shacks that dot the coastline from Portland to Bar Harbor. We’ve talked before about
how lobster is a major component of the Pine Tree state’s economy with 121 million pounds landed in 2015 with a value of over $495 million, according to the state’s Department of Marine Resources.
So rich and delicious, lobster is a once-in-a while pricy indulgence that usually marks special occasions. However, if you want to fancify your next dinner or cocktail party without shelling out the major bucks, this recipe is perfect. One cup of lobster meat goes a long way with these stuffed mushrooms. Since it’s chopped finely, you can opt for the claws rather than the more expensive tail meat and no one will be the wiser.
The Maine Science Festival takes place March 18-20, 2016, in Bangor. Enjoy free lectures, demonstrations and exhibits on everything from brain anatomy to aquaculture.
Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 12 large mushrooms
- 1 cup cooked lobster (about 1/2 lb.)
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Sharp cheddar cheese
- Parsley, chopped (optional)
In a small sauté pan, add olive oil and heat on medium-high. Add chopped shallot and garlic and sauté until shallot becomes translucent. While the shallot and garlic is cooking, gently wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and set on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, add cooked lobster, cooked shallot and garlic, oregano, breadcrumbs, and parmesan. Mix well and then season with salt and pepper. Stuff each of the mushrooms with the breadcrumb lobster mixture. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Add small slice of cheddar cheese on top of each mushroom and parsley if using. Bake five more minutes or until cheese on top is melted and bubbling.
Idaho’s most famous export is the potato. The Gem State leads the states in potato production, with 13.1 billion pounds harvested in
2013. Potatoes get a bad rap nutritionally but they are actually high in potassium and Vitamin C — providing almost half the recommended daily value.
We confess to being slightly addicted to potato skins. We decided to revisit the traditional recipe of bacon and cheddar. Our take uses common pizza ingredients for a fun twist on a classic.
There’s just a few more weekends for you to catch WalkAbout-Boise, a 90 minute guided walking tour through 150 years of history and architecture.
Pizza Potato Skins
- 4 medium baking potatoes
- 1/2 pound bulk sausage, mild or spicy, cooked through
- 2 to 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
- Pizza sauce
Bake potatoes at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour. Allow to cool. Slice potatoes in half. Scoop out the potatoes, leaving about 1/8 inch of flesh. Reserve flesh for another use.
Place potato skins on a baking sheet. Combine sausage, pesto, tomatoes and a cup and a half of the cheese in a large bowl. Scoop filling back into skins. Top with remaining half cup of cheese and then parsley. Heat under boiler set to high until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately with pizza sauce.