Tag Archives: crab

Guernsey…

Friday, February 8 –

For some reason, I keep on cooking but I forget to write it up. It’s not that I’m not interested in cooking, but my drive for this blog might be dwindling a little. But I’m so far into it now that I can’t give it up! Cheer me on, whoever is reading this…

Guernsey started off with me picking a fish and potato pie recipe that sounded good at the time. Then I got to the day-of and decided that recipe wasn’t so great sounding after all. Which left me with only a little photo(7)while to look for new recipes, and magically I stumbled onto this crab cake recipe. Any excuse to make crab cakes, in my books, is a good one.

This recipe, however, is just a little bit strange. Good, in the end, but strange. Boiled new potatoes (I removed the skins to keep the creamy texture) mixed with crab, ketchup, and spices? Hm, ok. A sauce made out of sugar and vinegar? Yeah, maybe. So I made the recipe as it is written, using good quality lump crab meat instead of the brown and white that’s listed below. Then I smooshed it altogether, made crab cakes, and fried them in butter. Served with a salad, dinner was ready!

The crab flavor, unfortunately, got completely covered up by the potato flavor. It was sad, really. I happen to love the flavor of crab, so I kind of picked out the crab chunks and then ate the potato mash separate. The sauce that got drizzled on top was a wonderful compliment to the crab flavor, and so I highly recommend keeping that part of the recipe. I also loved the blend of herbs that I used – it made the whole dish bright and flavorful.

Hopefully my drive for this project will pick back up again with the spring and the sunshine. I’m just really dragging my feet on it lately. If you are still in love with it, take a look at the country list and let me know which ones you want to come to. Having other people love it might help me find the love again in this dark, rainy season. Thanks, friends!

Guernsey
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: http://blog.visitguernsey.com)

Guernsey Chancre Crab and Fresh Guernsey Herb Cakes
For the cakes

  • 400g new potatoes (0.88 lb)
  • 250g white crab meat (0.55 lb)
  • 200g brown crab meat (0.44 lb)
  • 15g chopped parsley (1 tbl)
  • 15g chopped chive (1 tbl)
  • 30g chopped coriander (2 tbl)
  • 30g chopped basil (2 tbl)
  • 10g tomato ketchup (2/3 tbl)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g breadcrumbs (0.43 cup)
  • 100g plain flour (0.43 cup)
  • 250ml Guernsey milk (1.05 cup)
  • 1 free range egg

For the dressing:

  • 1 fresh chilli pepper
  • 375ml rice vinegar (1.58 cup)
  • 125g granulated sugar (0.53 cup)
  • Juice of one lime

Method

1) Wash the new potatoes and simmer gently in seasoned water until tender. Remove from the heat and refresh under cold water, drain the potatoes well and lightly crush with a fork, set aside.
2) Pass the brown crab meat through a fine mesh sieve to remove any traces of shell. Pick through the white crab meat to ensure all traces of shell are removed.
3) Bind together the crushed new potatoes, brown and white crab meat, tomato ketchup and chopped fresh Guernsey herbs, season with salt and pepper to taste.
4) Divide the mixture into eight Pattie shapes or spoon into a 7cm diameter pastry ring and repeat until all the mixture is used.
5) Place in a refrigerator until firm. Once the crab cakes are firm, coat them with seasoned plain flour, followed by dipping each one in a mixture of beaten egg and milk. Finally roll in fine breadcrumbs, re-shape with a palette knife to make the cakes all uniform.
6) Gently fry each cake in a generous amount of Guernsey butter, turning each over as necessary. Heat through in a moderate oven before serving with chilli dressing and a salad of Fresh Guernsey Herbs.

For the chilli dressing:
Finely chop the chilli pepper and place with the rice vinegar and sugar into a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture
has reduced to thin syrup, remove from heat and add lime juice.

Serve with a salad of fresh Guernsey herbs.

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Fiji…

Friday, October 5 –

Fiji turned into a house full of friends, an entire kitchen full of food, and lots of empty wine bottles by the end of the night. We had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire, Mistress Whiskey, MoneyShot, RubsWithLove, Sir VJ, GingerNuts, NoPoots, ChinUp, and MyBuddy. Bestie Extraordinaire and Mistress Whiskey made squash and chana dhal, MoneyShot brought a salad and wine, RubsWithLove made a ceviche, Sir VJ made crabby patties and a remoulade, GingerNuts and NoPoots brought wine and bread, ChinUp and MyBuddy made ginger fish and brought wine, and I made Fijian raita, chicken palau, and rice and brought wine. Holy goodness, it was a lot of food and wine!

I started by making the raita so that the flavors could sit and blend a little in the fridge. I grated the cucumber and lightly salted it and let it sit in a colander while I grated the carrot and chopped the jalapeno. Blended altogether in the yogurt it turned a pale orange color from the carrot juices. I wrapped it up and let it chill while I started on the chicken.

Starting the chicken dish I chopped an onion, the cloves of garlic, the jalapenos (keeping the seeds), and the chicken and set them separately in bowls. I also chopped half an onion and the cilantro for the rice. With the pan hot I put in the oil, then the onion and garlic, then the spices (using curry powder instead of curry leaves, but everything else as it is listed below). Once the onion was translucent and starting to brown I put in the rest of the spices and the jalapenos. In went the chicken and the salt. Left to simmer I moved on to the rice.

I changed up the rice so that I sauteed the onion, spices, and rice but then I dumped it all into my rice cooker. I knew I had someone that was coming over that doesn’t like to eat chicken and I wanted the rice available as a side without being tainted, so I kept them as separate dishes.

Did I mention there was a lot of food? Delicious, aromatic, mouth-watering food. The crabby patties with the remoulade were everything you ever wanted out of a crab cake. The squash and chana dhal was flavorful without being too spicy. It had a good, not-too-gooey texture. The chicken palau was spicy but a little dry. It could have been cooked for much less time. The ginger fish was moist, flaky, and simple in flavor, which worked really well with the rest of the dishes on the plate. The rice went with everything. The salad added a good crunch. And last but not least, the ceviche was so good that I can’t even properly explain it. Wrapped in butter lettuce with tender fish and a tangy sauce, it was perfect.

There might have been 11 of us, but we were all well fed that night. Three cheers to Fiji and their exceptional food!

Fiji
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.angelfire.com and www.fijibure.com)

Fijian Raita

  • 2 cups light sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 cucumber, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili such as Serrano or jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to sit for an hour to blend the flavors. Yield: 6 servings. Heat Scale: Medium

Chicken Palau (Pulao)

  • 1 whole chicken (cut in curry pieces)
  • oil 4 tablespoons
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • curry leaves – 6
  • cumin seeds (jeera) 1 teaspoon
  • mustard seeds (sarson) – 1 teaspoon
  • fenugreek seeds (methi) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • cardamom pods – 3
  • cloves – 3
  • cinnamon stick – 1 small piece
  • Palau masala or garam masala – 2 teaspoons
  • 3 chilies – chopped
  • salt to taste

For rice

  • water – 6 cups
  • rice – 3 cups, washed and drained well
  • ghee or oil 3 tablespoons
  • 1 onion
  • cardamom pods – 3
  • cloves – 3
  • cinnamon stick – 1 small piece
  • 1/4 chopped fresh coriander leaves (dhania)

Method:  Heat up a fairly large pot, add oil, then onion, garlic, curry leaves, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for stir for approximately 5 minutes. You may add a little more oil if it sticks to pan. Add palau masala or garam masala and chili. Stir for a minute then add chicken. Stir for a couple of minutes. Add salt. Let cook for 45 minutes on slow/medium heat. Add 1/4 cup water if it sticks. On another burner heat up ghee [clarified butter]. Add onion, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Add rice and fry for approximately 5 minutes. You may add a little oil if it sticks to pan. Add water and let cook for ten minutes. Add cooked chicken. Stir all together and let cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes on low heat without opening lid. Lastly add coriander, stir and switch off burner. Adjust salt. Serve and enjoy.

Ginger Fish

  • 2-3 pounds of snapper, grouper or cod — or any firm white fish
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup corn oil
  • 3/4 cups white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • parsley, coriander or slivered ginger root for garnish

Rinse & dry fish well. Cut lemon in half and squeeze, rubbing juice into fish, inside & out. Refrigerate for about an hour then rub with vegetable oil and place in a shallow baking dish. In a blender, mix thoroughly soy sauce, corn oil, white wine, garlic, sugar and ginger. Pour over fish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until the fish flakes easily and juices are opaque. Baste frequently with sauce. Garnish & serve. Yields 6 portions.

Squash and Chana Dhal

  •   1 cup channa dhal (yellow split peas)
  • 1 small yellow squash, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or clarified butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1½ teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
Wash the split peas thoroughly and place in a pan with four cups of lightly salted water. Boil, uncovered, until the peas are soft, about 20 minutes. Add the squash and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is soft. While the squash is simmering, heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the onions for three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the lime juice, and stir well. Continue to saute for 5 minutes.

Dominica…

Monday, July 23 –

I swear I’m trying to not fall behind on these posts… life keeps sweeping me away! This post was actually cooked last week. Thank you to RubsWithLove (strawberry cream pie), Mistress Whiskey (salad and wine), Bestie Extraordinaire (salad and wine), Wonderful Boyfriend, and NewOrleans (sinful mango dessert) for coming to this dinner and bringing wonderful dishes.

I decided to make this recipe by cooking the rice in a rice-cooker and cooking the seafood separately. This way I didn’t have to worry about over-cooking shrimp, which is gross. So into the pan went double the amounts of herbs and spices, double the amount of tomato paste, and triple the garlic. I let that warm up and then I put three pounds of shrimp in. I topped the mix off with veggie broth until it was sauce-like instead of paste-like. In next went the veggies, at about 1.5 times the amounts called for originally. I let that simmer until the shrimp were just barely done. I put the rice into a dish to serve, the shrimp mix into another dish, the olives into a dish, the avocados into a dish, and then I put lump crab meat into the final dish.

Onto our plates went the salad and dressing and then the rice and shrimp with whatever toppings sounded good to people. (How could you not want crab meat, after all?) The dinner was a perfect blend of spice, flavor, and texture. I likened it to etouffee at the time, and most everyone seemed to agree that was a close relation to this dish. I highly recommend it, and will look forward to making it again soon.

Our newest blog guest decided to take a trip to the store and buy something that inspired him. (Being a chef in real life has creativity perks that most people who love food envy.) He made a “coconut caramel cream mango flambe” and it was OUT OF CONTROL delicious. There is no photo of it, mostly because it disappeared so quickly into our bellies and also because it was one of those dishes that tasted amazing but didn’t look very pretty. I highly recommend finding a friend that likes to make food like this (unless you are trying to diet, in which case, run very, very far away!). Yum for all the dishes we ate this night!

Dominica
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Asopao de Mariscos (spiced shrimp with rice)

  •     2 lbs of shrimp, crab or lobster
  •     1 lemon (may be omitted)
  •     2 1/2 cups of rice
  •     3/4 gallon of water
  •     5 tablespoons oil
  •     4 tablespoons tomato paste
  •    1/4 cup chopped green peppers
  •     1 pinch oregano
  •     1 teaspoon mashed garlic
  •     1 pinch black pepper
  •     1/8 cup chopped seedless olives
  •     1/4 cup chopped celery
  •     1 spoon finely chopped parsley
  •     1 spoon finely chopped coriander
  •     1/2 spoon of thyme leaves
  •     1 cube of chicken stock
  •     Salt

METHOD / DIRECTIONS:

In an iron pot heat the oil (reserve 2 spoons of oil).  Add the herbs, olives, spices, tomato paste, peppers, garlic and salt. Add the shrimps and stir (be careful with hot oil splattering). Cover and wait two minutes, then stir again. Add the remaining water and bring to a boil. Add all remaining ingredients (including the rice). Stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking. Let 3/4 of the water evaporate, by then a grain of rice should be about 3 times its original size. Adjust salt to taste. Serve while hot.

RECIPE NOTES: Serve with a few slices of avocados or tostones.


China… {potluck!}

Friday, May 4 –

To tell you the truth, I thought that there would be more interest in this potluck. Maybe Chinese food is so accessible in this city that it wasn’t as interesting? I don’t know. We had five people this time: ZombieMode (lychee vodka drinks), BestieExtraordinaire (shrimp and veggie stir-fry), GingerNuts (crab rangoon), and NoPoots. I made general tso’s chicken and rice.

Making the general tso’s chicken was an interesting process. First, you coat the chicken in an egg and cornstarch mix. Then you fry them, cool them, and then fry them again (just like regular fried, battered chicken). It was a little deceiving though, because the recipe tells you to watch for it to turn light brown the first time and then deep brown the second time. The cornstarch didn’t really turn light brown the first time, but the chicken did. The second time the cornstarch and chicken both turned a nice golden brown color, so it was easier to tell when it was done. If you aren’t used to frying chicken, that’s definitely something to pay attention to. The sauce was incredibly easy to make, following exactly as the recipe is written. I did change the amounts a little, however, and would probably recommend doing the same. The recipe calls for 1.5 pounds of chicken for one batch of sauce and I made 2.5 pounds of chicken for two batches of sauce – and it was barely enough. I would recommend making double the sauce it says for the same amount of chicken (if you like yours gooey and saucy like I do).

The lychee vodka drinks were a little sweet for me, but I’m not such a huge fan of lychee flavor. ZombieMode and GingerNuts seemed to like them quite a bit. BestieExtraordinaire was drinking sake and NoPoots and I drank wine. The crab rangoon was good, but by the time we got to eat it they were a little soggy. Unfortunately, GingerNuts lives pretty far from us, so sitting in a Tupperware for the drive wasn’t very kind to them. If they had been crispy, they would have been amazing. Real crab meat in them makes a huge difference! The shrimp and veggie stir-fry was really good. He used rice noodles to make them gluten free, and the texture of the veggies and the shrimp was a perfect combo. And finally, the general tso’s… was AMAZING. That recipe makes the flavor exactly like the best I’ve had at some of the restaurants around here. If you like the flavor of the sauce, I would highly recommend saving this one. I will be making it again soon with sauteed chicken rather than fried. Double yum!

Like last week, I was taking these photos as quickly as I could so people could eat. I apologize for them being so hurried. Food quality before photo quality in my house, so if you want to enjoy the full experience you will just have to come over! The next dinner will also be a potluck for Columbia (Sat. 5/12). Hopefully more people will come to keep the potluck idea alive for some of these dinners. Stay tuned for more amazing dishes!

{general tso’s chicken}

{shrimp and veggie stir-fry}

{crab rangoon}

{crab rangoon with sauce, shrimp and veggie stir-fry, general tso’s chicken, and rice}

China
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com)

General Tsao’s Chicken II

  •     4 cups vegetable oil for frying
  •     1 egg
  •     1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  •     1 teaspoon salt
  •     1 teaspoon white sugar
  •     1 pinch white pepper
  •     1 cup cornstarch
  •     2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  •     3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  •     1 clove garlic, minced
  •     6 dried whole red chilies
  •     1 strip orange zest
  •     1/2 cup white sugar
  •     1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  •     3 tablespoons chicken broth
  •     1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  •     1/4 cup soy sauce
  •     2 teaspoons sesame oil
  •     2 tablespoons peanut oil
  •     2 teaspoons cornstarch
  •     1/4 cup water

Directions:

Heat 4 cups vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Beat the egg in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken cubes; sprinkle with salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and white pepper; mix well. Mix in 1 cup of cornstarch a little bit at a time until the chicken cubes are well coated.

In batches, carefully drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil one by one, cooking until they turns golden brown and begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow to cool as you fry the next batch. Once all of the chicken has been fried, refry the chicken, starting with the batch that was cooked first. Cook until the chicken turns deep golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in the green onion, garlic, whole chiles, and orange zest. Cook and stir a minute or two until the garlic has turned golden and the chiles brighten. Add 1/2 cup sugar, the ginger, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut oil; bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the water, and stir into the boiling sauce. Return to a boil and cook until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy from the cornstarch, about 1 minute. Stir the chicken into the boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the chicken absorbs some of the sauce.


British Virgin Islands…

Sunday, January 29 –

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… crab. Yes, please and thank you. (I could probably just say that and this blog post would mostly be written for me!)

Also, finally a form of meat that it’s ok to boil! Whooweee!!

For this country, I found a couple of recipes for crab dishes, but I thought to myself, “Self, you know what’s better than crab mixed in something? Devouring a whole crab!” So it needed to happen – butter covered, shell splattered, crabby goodness.

I also made a dish called Rasta Pasta, which was really good. But that’s not really what anyone wants to hear about after you tell them you’re making crab. So if you’re interested in a wonderful, flavorful side dish, check it out in the recipes.

We had seven of us total, with the newcomer of MoneyShot. MoneyShot is Hot Momma’s brother, and a crab enthusiast just like us. (He got his nickname from this dinner, because he managed to splatter both himself and Mr. Hero with crab juices and shell parts and the jokes went downhill from there. While this might not be PG13 dinner company, we certainly aren’t doing anything more than enjoying our food – a little too much sometimes!) We also had Baby Bear, Amine Chef, Roommate Extraordinaire, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend.

This dinner took almost all of us to make. With 7 crabs, 3 pots of water, and a whole mess of splatters, we finally got everything cooked, cleaned, and devoured. A big “thank you” to Roommate Extraordinaire, Mr. Hero, and Wonderful Boyfriend for making it happen! Another big “thank you” to Hot Momma, Roommate Extraordinaire, and MoneyShot for bringing all of the wine for this dinner.

With melted butter, lemon juice, napkins, and huge smiles on our faces, we were ready to eat. If you haven’t had a crab feast lately, I highly recommend it!

Things I have learned: Cooking that many huge crabs took many hands. Remember to get help when you need it!

British Virgin Islands
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Rasta Pasta

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 yellow and/or red peppers, cored, seeded and cut in lengthwise julienne slices
  • 1 pound fettuccini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked drained black beans
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli floweretes (just the top portion of small broccoli)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
  • Parmesan cheese

METHOD / DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté garlic, onions and peppers just until limp. Add drained, cooked black beans. Cook fettuccini in rapidly boiling salted water just until cooked. Drain and toss with olive oil. Combine cooked pasta with pepper mixture, broccoli and seasonings. Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This can be served hot or at room temperature as a salad or main dish.


Bahamas…

Saturday, October 22 –

For this particular country I picked a couple of different recipes and ideas from other blogs and threw them together (maybe not as 100% authentic, but I think it worked out well anyway). The thing I noticed that a lot of the recipe sites had in common for this country was that they all had something that had to do with seafood stew (clams, fish, etc). So instead of just focusing on one type of seafood I decided to do them all. I used a cioppino recipe (which is actually originally from San Francisco) and muddled the seafood proportions with the ideas behind some of the Bahamas recipes. It was a very easy recipe to put together and the results were so good I was dreaming about leftovers before we had even gotten up from the table.

This recipe called for onion, garlic, white wine, and chicken broth – which happens to be a combination I love very much. I made the broth, which I added 2 bulbs of garlic to instead of just 4 cloves, and then added shrimp, crab meat, mussels, clams, and cod. I simmered everything together until the smell filled the house, the shells were all open, and the garlic and rosemary bread was on the table. Both the guys made “oh my gosh this is so amazing” yummy sounds – mostly with their mouths full of bread dipped in broth. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

Bahamas
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.allrecipes.com)

Cioppino (Modified into Fish Stew)

  •     1/3 cup butter
  •     1 onion, chopped
  •     2 bulbs garlic, minced
  •     1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  •     1 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
  •     1 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  •     1 bay leaf
  •     1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  •     1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  •     1/2 cup water
  •     3/4 cup white wine
  •     13 ounces large shrimp – peeled and deveined
  •     10 small clams
  •     10 mussels, cleaned and debearded
  •     3/4 cup crabmeat
  •     12 oz cod fillets, cubed

Directions: Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large stockpot, add onions, garlic and parsley. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft.  Add tomatoes to the pot (break them into chunks as you add them). Add chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, water and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir in the shrimp, clams, mussels and crabmeat. Stir in fish, if desired. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until clams open. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with warm, crusty bread!