Crab-stuffed mushrooms

Dawn Corley
Posted 4/23/20

Somewhere in my collections sits a stack of small white plates decorated with gold leaf fleur-de-lis made in Paris in the 1830s. They are what remains from a much larger set with a small oval, …

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Crab-stuffed mushrooms


Somewhere in my collections sits a stack of small white plates decorated with gold leaf fleur-de-lis made in Paris in the 1830s. They are what remains from a much larger set with a small oval, covered tureen with it’s lid and odd larger plates.
The fleur-de-lis are true gold leaf. The decoration was added over the glaze so it can easily be scratched even with careful use.  I like that these pieces are imperfect. This imperfection adds to their beauty as it bears out their use over nearly 200 years.
Many generations loved them before they came into my possession.  They are about the size of a modern saucer yet flat. On the back of each is an identifying mark for a long destroyed Paris porcelain  factory.
They are the perfect size to serve small hors dourves or single servings. These plates were around the table for many bridal luncheons, birthday parties, baby showers and celebrations through out my life.  
A memorable use of the plates was for crab-stuffed mushrooms.  We would only have these at the right time of year when crab was plentiful. I remember the large baskets of live crabs on our back porch.
We cooked them outside in big pots over a fire before we sat and cracked them.  
There was a great amount of laughing as the crab shells were freed of their succulent meat.  There was no complaining as everyone around the table that night would be feasting on this wonderful treat.  
Albertha made THE BEST crab cakes ever. I think her secret was that she cooked over an open fire at her house which seemed to make everything she made seem like the best thing you had ever eaten.  
Some people were going to make what we call ‘she crab soup’ and some were going to steam the crab in banana leaves in a trough in the earth lined with embers.
Payment for cracking the crab was to take as much home as you needed.
There would be more soon.
We would usually be left with 2 large mixing bowls of picked crab meat. This abundance was not to be waisted so we would have already arranged a dinner party or Sunday lunch to share our good fortune.
As we usually had large parties, we made things that could go on a buffet. The recipe below is for crab stuffed mushrooms.
Charleston Petrie/Meyer family recipe. 
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
36 large white mushroom caps washed and stemmed. Reserve on paper towels.
2  cups of fresh crab meat
1 stick of salted butter
1/2 cup parsley as finely chopped as you can
1 cup of bread crumbs. Make your own using white bread you have toasted.
2 eggs whipped until they are frothy
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp celery salt
1/2 to 1 whole bottle of white wine
Sautee crab meat in 1/2 stick of melted butter. 
Do this gently until crab nearly cooked through. 
 Remove to a large mixing bowl.  
Cool to a temp where you can handle it.
Add the parsley. bread crumbs and eggs.
Add pepper and celery salt.
Mix well with your hands.
Using your hands, stuff each mushroom cap with enough mixture to make a  slight mound over the top. Do not over fill.
Place each mushroom in a large oven baking pan like one you would use for a roast.
Make sure mushrooms are lined up and touching each other.
 If they will not fit use another dish.
Once they are all in the baking dish, pour the wine around them, not over them with bits of left over 1/2 stick of butter.
Bake about 30 minutes.
Let them sit for about 5 minutes.
My little plates from Paris were the perfect  thing for these wonderful treats for as long as I can remember. With a silver fork and crystal glass- memories were made. 
I have used the plates myself, over the years for many things. 
 I love the idea of adaptive re-use and taking advantage of the hard work and passion for life that those who came before left behind for us to find in the form of their material possessions and recipes.
Memories are made around the table. Now that many of us have time to do more at home, perhaps you will be inspired to make this elegant dessert and, in doing it, craft a memory of your own!


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