Maryland Crab Cakes

A D.C. power lunch favorite, using the recipe of a Washington institution, Old Ebbitt Grill.

Ingredients:

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 salted crackers

Directions:

Pick the crabmeat over to remove excess shells and cartilage. Combine the mayonnaise, crab boil, parsley, mustard, and water and mix until smooth. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the crabmeat and mix, being careful not to break up the lumps of crabmeat. With your hands, break up the saltines into crumbs and mix into the crab mixture. Form into patties and pan-fry or broil the cakes until golden brown.

Servings: Serving size varies

Georgia Brown's French Toast

D.C. is a big brunch town—it's the one time of the week when high-powered locals relax—and no place straddles the line between northern efficiency and southern charm like Georgia Brown's. Recipe by Chef Darrell Hughes.

Ingredients:

1 box, biscuit dough
½ stick unsalted butter
8 large eggs
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Make biscuit dough: Use a dry biscuit mix, but cut a half a stick of unsalted butter into the mix before preparing according to box directions. Once you have prepared your biscuit dough, press it out into a buttered, 8x8 inch baking pan. Cook as directed on the package. Cool and cut into four large squares. Cut each square in half horizontally in order to have two pieces.

Preheat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Mix the following ingredients together with a wire whisk: eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, brown sugar, Grand Marnier, cinnamon, nutmeg. Dip each square of biscuit into the mixture and soak for 15-20 seconds. Place into preheated skillet with ample amounts of unsalted butter. Cook until brown on both sides and keep covered on a separate plate until all toast is cooked. Serve with your favorite syrup.

Servings: Serves four

The Willard Hotel's Signature Mint Julep

The term lobbyist was coined at the Willard Hotel, blocks from the White House. This drink was a favorite of congressmen from the South. Recipe published in Washingtonian.

Ingredients:

2 ounces Maker's Mark bourbon (or another premium Kentucky bourbon)
2 ounces San Pellegrino sparkling water
8-10 fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig of mint for garnish
2 cups crushed ice (dry, not slushy)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar plus a bit more to taste
1 thin strip lemon peel
1 julep cup (crystal or silver), frosted in the freezer
1 straw

Directions:

Add one teaspoon of sugar, the mint leaves, one ounce bourbon, and one ounce sparkling water to the julep cup. Using the heel of a butter knife, muddle for about a minute until it forms a tea. Add a half cup of crushed ice and muddle some more. Add the rest of the ice, keeping it tightly packed. Pour in the rest of the bourbon and sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of mint and top with the lemon peel and a dusting of sugar. Wedge the straw just behind the mint sprig so when you lean in for a sip, you get a peppery whiff.

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