You’re Invited

There’s room in the car; we’ll stop by soon to collect you. The more, the merrier, right? Not that tonight isn’t going to be ecstatically fun already, what, with everybody being in such a good mood. Optimistic and happy to greet the new year. Perfect setting for a party, really. Plus, there’s sure to be champagne. Maybe not for the drivers, of course, but just enough bubbly to make everyone even, uh…brighter.

Oh, and rumor has it there will be plenty to eat, including lots of those awesome stuffed mushrooms. Old Bay Crab Stuffed Mushrooms is the “official” title, apparently. Huh? Not sure, probably on the internet somewhere. Yeah, yeah, that’s right – Chadwick Boyd posted instructions on Pinterest. An old family recipe, it seems.

Anyway, if you haven’t tried them before, these mushrooms are amazing. Lots and lots of crab. Substantive pieces too, no mistaking this particular experience. Just enough mayonnaise, shallots and Old Bay to hold together everything. They are there to compliment the crab, after all. They enhance it and they highlight it, but they don’t compete with it. There’s no question what has all the appetizer’s attention. As it should. Such a special ingredient, purchased for a special occasion.

Don’t forget the topping, though, because that’s where you get the wonderful textural contrast. The whole thing starts with panko bread crumbs, a Japanese variety renowned for its crunchiness. Mix in a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano before piling it atop the mushrooms and drizzling it with melted butter. A short jaunt in the oven toasts it beautifully. A crispy, lightly salty prelude. Finally, the whole assembly is dusted with a little more Old Bay, and is sprinkled with chopped chives.

Sunny today, but still awfully cold. Perfect for a hot, satisfying appetizer:

If only you could see one of them close up. Of course, you will soon enough:

All this food talk is having the desired effect, isn’t it? A conversation that started with anticipation ends with hunger. Ravenous hunger, more like. Do you think it’d be in bad form to take all the mushrooms and not to share them with anyone? Far too late now for niceties. Powerful hungers have been stirred and it’s every mushroom for itself…

Well, as you’re coming with, you’ll be entitled to your share. Still, those mushrooms aren’t to leave our sight, understand? Wow, it’s nearly time. We’ll be by soon with the car. Look at that, it’s starting to snow. Tonight is going to be…just incredible. Especially with all those appetizers. Hope you’re hungry!


Old Bay Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 10-12 large white mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 16 ounces of lump crab meat (*1)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon zest
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (*2)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 chives, chopped, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Lay the mushroom caps in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

In a medium bowl, add the crab, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, shallots and 2 tablespoons of the Old Bay.  Mix with a form until fully combined.

In a small bowl mix together the parmesan and the bread crumbs.

Fill each mushroom cap evenly with the crab mixture.  Sprinkle with the parmesan bread crumbs. Dust each with a little more Old Bay and drizzle with melted butter.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the mushrooms are slightly wilted.

Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.


1 – Although I usually am not one for such restraint, it’s better to use “lump” crab meat, instead of “jumbo lump,” which will be too big to fit into the mushrooms.

2 – If you can afford it, use Parmigiano Reggiano, as the flavor it adds is exemplary.  Whatever you do, do not use that hideous mix that comes in a green can.  That’s just awful.


6 thoughts on “You’re Invited

    1. Much appreciated, Crystal, and same to you!

      As many around here of Italian descent, including the younger set, celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes, the fishmonger goes all-out this time of year. Thus, I share the bounty with readers.

      Does Kody’s family partake as well, or is that more of a Northeastern thing?


      1. We’ve celebrated the Seven Fishes with a Feast on occasion, more from watching Food Network than from family tradition. Fresh seafood in the Oklahoma panhandle is a rare commodity. Beef’s on.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good point, Crystal. Even here, we’re a bit inland, making fresh seafood less common than you would think. It usually has been frozen at some point, by necessity. That’s much less dire a process than it used to be, fortunately.

        As for the protein, we can, and do, throw a shrimp on the barbie, but when it comes to a perfect sear on a ribeye, we always will defer to Oklahoma. Try getting a Northeasterner to admit that, though. You’ll get only the typical regional posturing.

        Liked by 1 person

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