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Jan 28, 2008 08:13 AM

Authentic Baltimore cuisine

For a Wire viewing party, I'm searching for authentic Baltimore recipes. There's crab cakes, of course, and Lady Baltimore cake, but what else?

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  1. How about Baltimore pit beef? Although I don't think it goes back more than about 30 years or so, it seems to be regarded as peculiar to Baltimore and part of their 'tradition'. (Of course, cooking it on the grill in January may be a bit of a challenge). I have made it several times after seeing Steven Raichlen do it on one of his shows and, if you don't overcook it and slice it very thin, it's really great.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bnemes3343

      I've used this recipefor pit beef in the past, and it comes out pretty good:

      A variation on the standard crab cake would be crab imperial. Google will find you several recipes.

      Of course, you can always take vegetables and boil them until they are limp and tasteless. That's about as Baltimore as you can get. This works particularly "well" with green beans, especially if you serve them with canned tomato sauce.

      1. re: JonParker

        Yes, this seems like the classic (is there such a thing?) way to do Balt. pit beef. Spice rub on a top round, cooked not much past rare and then sliced very thin across the grain. Served with horseradish, onion, tomato, lettuce. Sooo good.

        I have also made this in a very hot oven in a cast iron skillet when it's 10 degress outside and I don't want to fire up the grill and, if you don't overcook it, it is really great.

        1. re: bnemes3343

          Yes yes yes to Pit Beef! But I only ever have mine with just the meat and some horseradish on a soft white roll. Utz potato chips on the side are a plus.

    2. Crab Soup, esp good at this time of year.
      Coddies are relatively easy to make and you just need crackers and mustard.
      If you can get a hold of fresh peaches, or some good peaches how about a Baltimore Peach Cake - extremely sweet.
      You could serve BlackEyed Susans to drink

      4 Replies
      1. re: aussiewonder

        I have to disagree, peach cake generally is not overly sweet. It is however really good and unique to Baltimore, so I second the recommendation.

        Also, in reference to the OP, serving Lady Baltimore Cake is a fun idea, so don't let me stop you, but it isn't "authentic Baltimore cuisine." I'm pretty sure its from one of the Carolinas.

        1. re: charmedgirl

          I don't know... there's a recipe for LBC in my Maryland's Way cookbook from Susquehannah...

            1. re: charmedgirl

              Interesting. Seems like an apt appropriation, though, and one that's long-standing since the Maryland's Way cb is about 50 years old. I will have to tell my sandlapper husband about the cake's Charleston roots.

      2. You can google it but here's a Baltimore Peach Cake recipe
        Baltimore Peach Cake
        1 3/4 cups white flour
        1/4 cup sugar
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
        2 tablespoons butter, softened
        1/2 cup hot water
        1 egg, room temperature
        4 tablespoons raspberry jam
        4-6 peaches, peeled, pitted, and quartered
        canola or cooking spray
        One orange
        1 cup sugar
        1/2 cup room temperature water

        First, grease or spray a 9" cake pan, sides and bottom.

        Combine all the dry ingredients together in a mixer bowl (that's the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast). Start the mixer on low, and add the softened butter. Beat together for two minutes or so. Add the egg while the mixer is running. Slowly add the water.

        You'll have a very sticky dough. You may want to use the oil spray on your hands so you can work the dough a little. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepped cake pan. You'll need to stretch it out a bit and pinch closed and holes. You'll end up with a very thin dough.

        Spread the raspberry jam on top of the cake in an even layer. Arrange the peach quarters in the pan on top of the cake, pressing lightly on each to dent the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for one hour.

        Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes.

        When 15 minutes or so have passed, cut your orange n half and juice it into a small saucepan. Scrape some of the pulp out of the orange and into the pot, leaving any membrane or white pith behind.

        Turn the heat on under the juice to medium. Add the sugar and 1/2 cup water. Stir well to dissolve the sugar into the water and make a simple syrup. Cook over medium heat to reduce for seven minutes or so.

        Remove the cake from the oven. Brush and spoon the syrup mixture over the top of the cake while it is hot. You don't have to use up all the syrup, but make sure the entire top of th ecake is well coated with the syrup.

        Let the cake cool for at least 30-45 minutes before serving. It's also very good refrigerated.

        1. Can't beat steamed spiced shrimp. Steam them, then toss with Old Bay seasoning. Serve with cocktail sauce (some prefer melted butter). And beer. Lots of beer.

          1. Definitely a hot crab dip, served with Ritz crackers. Not a recipe, but maybe order some Berger cookies or some crab UTZ chips. I've seen the characters in the WIre eating Berger cookies in at least one scene.