Recipe courtesy of Tim Recher

Chesapeake Oyster Stew, Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial Eastern Shore Sweet Corn Pudding

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Inactive: 10 min
  • Cook: 55 min
  • Yield: 6 servings


For the Soft Shell Crab:

For the Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial:

For the Eastern Shore Sweet Corn Pudding:

For the Chesapeake Oyster Stew:

For Assembly:


  1. For the Soft Shell Crab: Either preheat fryer, or a Dutch oven filled halfway with oil, to 250 degrees F. Clean crabs and cover with milk and buttermilk. Place in refrigerator until chilled, about 10 minutes. Mix together flours and seasonings. Remove crabs from milk and drain excess. Dip into seasoned flour and shake off excess. Carefully lower into preheated oil. Fry for approximately 3 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from hot oil, drain, hold for final assembly.
  2. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Imperial:
  3. In a small saute pan, melt butter and whisk in flour to form a light roux. Cook roux briefly and stir in milk and cream. Keep stirring and bring to a boil. Add sherry, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, seafood seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat, chill slightly, and fold in Maryland jumbo lump crabmeat, chives, parsley, and mayonnaise. Reserve for final assembly.
  4. Eastern Shore Sweet Corn Pudding: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Cut kernels off of cob and scrape cob with the back of a knife to remove the "milk". Chop the cob into pieces. Heat butter in a saute pan and add shallots, garlic, corn, and cob. Saute briefly for 1 minute. Add seafood seasoning, sugar and salt and pepper, to taste and saute for an additional minute. Add cream and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for a few minutes. Discard cob pieces and puree corn/crab mixture. Add 1/2 cup of heated mixture to the eggs and whisk continuously. Then whisk egg mixture back into heated liquid, also known as tempering. Strain and pour mix into 6 greased ramekins. Bake in preheated oven in a water bath until pudding sets, about 25 minutes. Remove from water and reserve warm for final assembly.
  5. Chesapeake Oyster Stew: Heat butter in a saucepan and add ham, corn kernels, shallot, garlic, and leek. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add vermouth and oyster liquor (or bottled clam juice). Reduce by half and add cream. Turn down heat and simmer until slightly thickened. Add seasonings and taste. Turn off heat and add oysters and herbs. Reserve for final assembly.
  6. Final Assembly: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  7. Carefully lift the top shell off the soft shell crabs and stuff with Maryland Crab Imperial. Bake in preheated oven for a few minutes while completing the dish. Place warm Eastern Shore Sweet Corn Pudding in a shallow heated bowl. Ladle Chesapeake Oyster Stew in bowl around the pudding with 3 Chesapeake oysters per serving. Carefully place Maryland Soft Shell Crab on the pudding. Garnish with chives and corn shoots from your local Maryland farmers market, if using!