Surimi (or imitation crab) is absent from the ingredient list from all of South City Kitchen Executive Chef Chip Ulbrich's crab-centric recipes. The award-winning chef uses fresh lump crabmeat in his recipes for crab and shrimp ceviche with watermelon relish, South City Kitchen crab hash, crab cakes and she-crab soup. You'll find all of these recipes alongside Ulbrich's anecdotes in Judy Colbert's book "Chesapeake Bay Crabs." With National Crabmeat Day skedaddling in today, this book and Ulbrich's recipes will cause more swooning than Jack Sparrow. Go ahead and get crabby with Ulbrich's recipe for crab and shrimp ceviche with watermelon relish:
4 cups seedless watermelon, finely diced
½ cup red onion, finely diced
1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
l jalapeño or poblano chile (depending on your spice level), finely diced
2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, peeled and grated
2 limes, juiced and zested
¼ cup champagne vinegar
¼ cup garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
¼ cup honey
salt & pepper to taste
2 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb. lump crabmeat, picked clean
Relish: Mix all relish ingredients and allow to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Shrimp: To blanch shrimp, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and season with a healthy dose of salt. The water should taste like seawater. Add shrimp and cook for no more than 10 seconds. Remove shrimp and shock in ice water to cool rapidly; shrimp should still be a little raw on the inside. Once cool, drain well.
Assemble: Toss shrimp, crab and relish in a bowl and allow to marinate for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes. Serve with fresh watermelon and lime wedges.