Commonwealth Crab

If you live in Maryland, as I do, nothing says summer like crab. After all, the Maryland state crustacean is the blue crab (apparently it beat out all of the other crustaceans for this lofty title). It’s ironic then, that the following recipe came from The Commonwealth Club, a private gentleman’s club in Richmond, Virginia, by way of my friend Tracy who hails from “The Rivah.”

Tracy brought this crab appetizer to a party and I was immediately drawn to it. Certainly, her elegant, distinctly Southern presentation had something to do with the dish’s appeal but it was also a crab alternative to crab cakes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good crab cake (all meat, no filler) but they are heavy and rich and often leave me with a stomach ache. This crab looked light, fresh and absolutely delicious. Tracy was quick to explain that she convinced the chef at The Commonwealth Club to share the recipe and at the Club the mound of crab is served in the shape of an actual crab (crab mold required). That image brought a smile to my face, reminding me of the salmon mousse my mother served “to company” all throughout the 70’s.

This appetizer would make a perfect ladies lunch (let’s pretend that we host those) and would be the star of any July 4th celebration. At the same time, the Commonwealth Crab would be right at home at an elegant Christmas season party–silver platter, Southern-style, required.

So, thank you Tracy and the gentlemen of The Commonwealth Club of Virginia. And three cheers to the red, white and blue.

NOTE: This may be my last post before a brief summer hiatus. Sly Rooster will return in September–fingers crossed with an all-inclusive Recipe Index and printable recipes.


Commonwealth Crab
Serves 12
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  1. 2 lbs jumbo lump crabmeat
  2. 1 cup mayonnaise
  3. 2 Tbls Dijon country-style mustard
  4. 2 Tbls Old Bay seasoning
  5. 1 Tbls granulated garlic
For Serving
  1. Assorted crackers and/or cocktail bread
  2. 2-3 hard-boiled eggs, whites and yolks chopped
  3. 1 red pepper, diced
  4. 1 yellow pepper, diced
  5. 4-6 scallions, finely chopped
  6. 1 red onion, finely chopped
  7. a couple Tbls capers
  8. lemon slices, optional garnish
  1. Gently pick through the crabmeat to remove any shell.
  2. Add all of the ingredients (crabmeat thru garlic) into a bowl and gently mix to combine.
  3. Tightly pack crab mixture into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or until ready to serve.
  4. When ready to serve, loosen crab mixture from the bowl by running a butter knife around the sides. Unmold onto a plate or large platter.
  5. Serve with an assortment of sturdy crackers or cocktail rye, eggs, peppers, scallions, onion and capers.
Adapted from The Commonwealth Club of Virginia
Adapted from The Commonwealth Club of Virginia
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