Deviled dishes, meaning those with special spices and generally containing dry mustard, were commonplace in my childhood. Although deviled foods are a part of a national pattern in American kitchens (you will also find foods “à la diable” or devil’s style in French cookery), I have always considered deviled—or well-spiced—dishes, such as the following recipe for crabmeat, to be particularly Southern. The dish is seasoned with those two most basic Southern staples, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, seasonings my mother could not have cooked without. It can be made with any kind of crab—blue crab, Dungeness, Alaskan king, or whatever.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.