This one is for The Bearded One. He has memories of buying shells of deviled crab at the small grocery (Sodowski’s) across the street from his home in Lynnwood, PA.
2/3 c mayonnaise
2 T minced onion
2 T minced green pepper
2 t minced parsley
1 1/2 t dry mustard
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t cayenne
2 t lemon juice
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lb fresh or pasteurized crabmeat, either select or one of the lump grades, carefull picked over to remove all bits of shell (although…shhhh, don’t tell anyone…I have been known to use canned crabmeat upon occasion…shhh)
3 to 4 T butter
1 c fine fresh bread crumbs
Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and whisk in the vegetables and seasonings. Go very easy on the salt and pepper.
Cover bowl and put aside for 15 minutes or so for the flavors to marry. Correct seasoning. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Reserve, refrigerated, if you are doing this in advance. Melt 3 T butter in a small skillet and add the bread crumbs. Cook over low heat until just golden, adding a little more butter if it seems too dry. Scrape into a bowl and cool.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange natural or ceramic shells or ramekins on a baking sheet. Divide crab mixture among containers, mounding it a bit in the center so that it looks generous.
Sprinkle the crumbs over the crab mixtures. bake on the top rack of the oven until bubbly and lightly browned, 10 – 15 minutes.
Serves 6-8 as a first course. 4 as a main course.