I’ve always said that deviled crab can be the worst or most delicious Southern dish imaginable, depending on the quality of the crabmeat, the amount of breading (filler), and whether the texture is inexcusably dry or sumptuously moist. What I’ve found distinguishes the best Savannah, Georgia, deviled crab from most you find along the Carolina, Florida, and Gulf coasts is not only the use of freshly steamed whole blue crabs but also the very sensible addition of cream to the mixture. If only commercially packed fresh crabmeat is practical, opt for the claw meat over the backfin lump; it may be more difficult to pick over for shells but it’s moister, sweeter, and much less expensive. Serious Savannah cooks pack their mixtures into crab backs to preserve as much moisture and sweetness as possible, but scallop shells or small ramekins work just as well, so long as you don’t overbake. Wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, the packed shells can be frozen and reheated when ready to serve.
In a medium skillet, melt
Divide the mixture among four buttered scallop shells or small ramekins, sprinkle
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