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  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
    by Barbara Kinsolver and others
  • Ad Hoc at Home
    Ad Hoc at Home
    by Thomas Keller
Sunday
Dec222013

Fate of the giant crab - 3- Crab Stock

Never waste bones or shells when a lovely stock can be made!

Here's the recipe for Crab Stock:

Crab Stock

1 & ½ to 2# crab shells, picked over & broken into pieces.

2 quarts of cold water

3 stalks celery

1 medium onion, peeled & quartered

1 small leek

1 ½ tsp black peppercorns

1 large bay leaf

3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)

1 ½ tsp Kosher or sea salt.

Place all in a large stock pot. Water should just cover shells & vegetables. If not, add enough to cover. Bring to a simmer & simmer for 1 to ½ hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. (I strain once to get rid of the shells & a second time through muslin to get rid of any additional bits. This gives me a really clear stock)

To cool quickly add 1 ½ cups ice cubes. Stir until they are melted then refrigerate. This may be used immediately or refrigerated for up to two days. If you don’t plan to use it right away, bring the temperature of the stock to 40 degrees or below, place in containers and freeze. Homemade crab stock is treasure in your freezer. It can quickly be turned into crab bisque, crab & shrimp chowder, Cioppino and so on. 

Sunday
Dec222013

Fate of the Giant Crab Phase 2 Crab Souffle Roulade

Souffle Roulade is simple to make and, unlike a round souffle, is quite forgiving. Once filled and rolled, it can be held warming in your oven for 30 minutes or longer & tastes great at room temperature. It's simple to make, easy to serve and can be filled with a wide variety. I filled this one with crab, green onions & sharp, white cheddar. Alternate fillings: spinach & feta, thinly sliced ham & Gruyere, bay shrimp & sour cream, sauteed mushrooms....and on and on. It is also lovely topped with Salsa Verde or Hollandaise, depending upon your taste. 

 

Here's the recipe:

 

Soufflé Roulade  Yield: approximately 12 servings

 

5 eggs

1 ½ cups milk

4 TBL butter

5 TBL flour

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. Cayenne

½ cup Parmesan grated

 

 

400 degree oven

Line a half sheet pan with parchment, then  butter and flour parchment

Separate whites and yolks

Make roux, add hot milk, cook for about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat & add  ¾ tsp salt and cayenne

Temper yolks with hot béchamel. Add to remaining yolks and stir well.

Beat whites with ¼ tsp salt until soft peaks.

Fold in ½ of the cheese

Lighten yolk mixture with 1/3 of the whites.

Fold in remaining whites

Pour into pan, smooth & sprinkle with remaining cheese

Bake until brown and puffed – about 15 minutes.

Invert onto oiled parchment, remove bottom parchment, fill and roll.

 

Place on a serving tray & cover to keep warm. Slice into rounds to serve.

Saturday
Dec212013

The Christmas Crab Project 2013



The Friday before Christmas a "secret Santa" dropped off an enormous crab and loaves of sourdough bread. As you can see from the photos the thing barely fit in our side by side refrigerator. I pondered what to do with this much crab. No one else is around to share and I was determined not to let one bit of this gorgeous beast go to waste. 

First Steve and I weighed it. It came in at a whopping seven pounds. The first order of business was to have a simple, but wonderful Friday night crab feast. The Christmas crab feast has been a tradition in my family as long as I can remember. With a nod to my late father, we made a version of his family famous cocktail sauce, using our homemade horseradish; made a nice salad, warmed some bread and cracked open a bottle of crisp California Sauvignon Blanc.

It was a feast! 

I made a long list of all the crab menu items I could think of & decided to make Crab Souffle Roulade for breakfast the next day. Recipe and photos to follow.

Saturday
Oct082011

Savoring the last sweetness of summer

Being a native of the Pacific Northwest, the concept of the last days of summer being in October is difficult to grasp. Even here, on the Central Coast of California though, we are beginning to see a change in the weather. Days are a little shorter & the summer fog has turned to some rainy days. 

Yesterday, the sky was brilliant blue & the Friday farmer’s market was lively. We saw bushels of tomatoes, sweet peppers, fat carrots, greens, potoates, stone fruit, apples & herbs.  My favorites are the sweet, plump tomaotes. They are just perfect right now and this time will pass quickly. 

 We brought home 30# of ripe & juicy tomatoes & set about saving them for those bleak months of winter when are tomato choices are  limited to overpriced and underripe grocery store tomatoes. 

The box of tomatoes became this:

.....and this:

 

.....and this:

Recipe:   Oven Roasted Fresh Tomatoes

 Ripe, whole tomatoes 

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra Virgin Olive oil

slivers of fresh garlic (optional)

Red, chile flakes (optional)

 

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Halve tomatoes & place on sheet pan cut side up. 

Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings. 

Place in oven & reduce temperature to 250 degrees. 

Bake for 1.5 - 3 hours depending upon size of tomatoes. 

The tomatoes should still be juicy when they are done. Serve warm or at room temperature with grilled bread & fresh cheese sprinkled with herbs.

 

To freeze: place tomatoes in freezer containers, drizzle with their juices & the olive oil. Cover tightly & freeze. To serve, thaw and then warm them slightly. They’re also good in soups, sauces & stews.  Share with friends.

 

 

Sunday
Jan162011

The best granola I've ever had......

I like granola, but rarely buy it. To my taste commercially produced granola always tastes too sweet or the fruit has an artificial quality to it.  But cruising around the internet one day I read a piece by Melissa Clark of the New York Times on an olive oil granola she tasted in the city & the recipe she used to replicate it. Wow is it good! Don't even bother to make a single batch.......

 

 Here's the link to Melissa Clark:   http://tinyurl.com/ojdktk

 Here's the recipe with my adaptations:

 


Olive Oil Granola with Dried Cherries & Pecans

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3/4 cup chopped sour dried cherries

1/2 cup golden raisins

Mix together everything except the fruit. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. Cool slightly & stir in the dried fruit. Serve with yogurt & fresh berries.

Baking hint:  Line your sheet pan with foil & spray well!