Broiled Seafood Sandwich is a light, easy-to-make dish suitable for a light lunch or warm weather weeknight meal. It originates from No Regrets (1974), a recipe compilation from the Junior League of Portland (Oregon). Unlike many of my vintage cookbooks from this era, No Regrets contains an unusually large number of seafood recipes, perhaps because of Portland’s proximity to the ocean. This particular recipe can be made either with fresh crab meat or tiny coldwater shrimp, both of which are readily available from Oregon Coast fisheries.
I was drawn to this recipe by an unseasonably warm spring. In our home the weather dictates what’s on the table. Cold weather means rich creamy soups, dark stews, and hearty roast-and-potatoes type meals. Warm weather requires something lighter – chicken, lightly grilled proteins, and many, many more salads. But a warm spring day calls for something in between, and the Broiled Seafood Sandwich was the perfect fit. It’s light enough not to weigh you down during the dinner hour but still has the comforting creamy cheesiness of a winter dish. The original recipe calls for canned shrimp or crabmeat, but I found that fresh or frozen seafood works better. Precooked baby shrimp are available year round and, in my neck of the woods, pre-cooked Dungeness crab is available seasonally. There’s a noticeable difference in freshness and quality, and the fresh/frozen varieties give you a little bit more control over the sodium level in the final meal. I’ve also added a modest dose of Old Bay seasoning for some extra pizazz and a little bit of heat.
The family’s consensus was that this was “different, but delicious”. The hot seafood salad has the same vibe as the baked sushi that you’ll find in American sushi restaurants, and the English muffin adds a nice contrasting crunch. For an entree portion count on 2-3 half-muffins per person, maybe four if you’ve got teenagers. Serve with a green salad and fresh fruit. It would also work well as a side dish or appetizer for a small salmon filet or even a sirloin steak, with saffron rice and a green vegetable.
- 1 lb cooked crab meat or baby shrimp (fresh or frozen is preferable to canned)
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 1-2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (or similar seasoning blend)
- 6 English muffins
- Louisiana-style hot sauce
- Combine all ingredients except English muffins and hot sauce. Stir until well combined. Taste and add cheese or Old Bay to adjust seasoning and salt levels.
- Cut English muffins in half (12 halves). Spread an equal portion over each half. Broil for 5-7 minutes, about 4-5 inches from the heat source, until muffins are crisp and top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.