Eggs Maryland

Probably the only Southern coastal state where I’ve never eaten (or heard mention) eggs Maryland is the state of Maryland. I have no idea where the rich, luscious dish originated, but I’ve had this recipe for years and judge that its creator (in Norfolk, Virginia? Jacksonville, Florida? Brunswick, Georgia?) associated any dish that featured crabmeat with Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Craig Claiborne (from Mississippi), barbecue maven Jeanne Voltz (from Alabama), and New York restaurateur Pearl Byrd Foster (from Virginia) all loved eggs Maryland, and I don’t hesitate for a second to say that it’s a luncheon egg dish that ranks right up there with the legendary ones of New Orleans. Actually, what I love to do is use even more crabmeat and just let it overflow into the sauce.

Ingredients

The Cream Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

The Eggs

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 scallions (white part only), finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • ½ cup flaked fresh lump crabmeat
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 6 extra-large hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise, yolks pressed through a sieve, and whites reserved
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
  • teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To make the cream sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over moderate heat, add the flour, and whisk rapidly till well blended and smooth. Add the broth, whisking, and let simmer about 5 minutes or till thickened. Add the heavy cream and salt and pepper and let simmer 5 minutes longer, stirring. Keep the sauce warm till ready to use.

To make the eggs, melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat, add the scallions and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, till softened, about 2 minutes. Add the crabmeat, heavy cream, sieved yolks, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and sherry and cook, stirring, 2 minutes longer.

Stuff the egg whites with equal amounts of the crab mixture and arrange on a baking dish. Spoon the cream sauce evenly over the eggs, sprinkle the tops with cheese, and bake till slightly glazed, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

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