Dishing Up Maryland
by Lucie L. Snodgrass
This is one of the signature recipes at Gertrude's in Baltimore. When not used as a topping, the crab mixture is a dish on its own and can be baked in a buttered casserole dish in a 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve it with new potatoes or rice and a salad.
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons diced green bell pepper
• 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper or pimiento
• 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon capers, drained and chopped
• 1 teaspoon Old Bay or other seafood seasoning
• 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound jumbo or lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
• 6 (6-7 ounce) rockfish fillets, skin removed
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Olive oil
• 1 egg,beaten
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and sauté until soft. Set aside.
2. Combine 3/4 cup of the mayonnaise, the mustard, Worcestershire, capers, Old Bay, Tabasco, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the cooked bell peppers and mushrooms. Add the crabmeat and toss gently. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Season both sides of the rockfish fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet until it is very hot and lightly coat the bottom with olive oil. Place the fillets flesh side down in the skillet and sear for 1 minute over medium heat. Turn the fish over and sear the other side for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and turn over the fish once again. Distribute the crabmeat mixture evenly over the fillets.
4. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the imperial topping: Combine the egg, the remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, the parsley, and a pinch of paprika in a small bowl and mix well.
5. Remove the skillet from the oven and top the crabmeat mixture with the imperial topping. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Return the skillet to the oven and bake the fillets for 3 to 5 minutes longer, until lightly browned. Remove the rockfish from the oven and serve immediately.