Author Archives: Caroline

Thanksgiving: Cooking Live Crab with Fennel and Celery Salad

Stack of Steamed Fresh Live Crabs

We had planned to visit Captain Barry’s Fresh to pick up some crab on Thanksgiving morning as a project and tasty dinner, but also to have a bit of Thanksgiving fare with the crew; there had been an accident the night before and while Thanksgiving was cancelled, we hope all will be well soon. They were still selling crab this morning, so we decided it would be a great, light departure from the gut-stuffing realities of turkey day. We loaded up the dog and headed down to the dock.

butter cubes

Red Dutch Cast Iron Enamel Sautee Pan with Melting Butter

We brought home three lively critters, about 2 lbs each, and got our pots boiling. Being a total sissy, I didn’t want to kill and clean them raw, so we dunked them right into the boiling water for 15 minutes each (since they were so large). Afterwards, I cleaned them using this method, and stacked them up on our table with some melted butter, a fresh fennel-celery salad, and a bottle of champagne.

Fennel and Celery Salad

Fresh Fennel and Celery Salad Recipe

Serves 2-4

1 small or 1/2 large head fennel, sliced thinly on a mandolin
2-3 stalks celery, sliced thinly on a mandolin
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together and serve. This holds up very well over night, but is best dressed freshly for maximum crunch.

 

Stack of Fresh Cleaned Dungeness Crab Legs

How to Cook Live Crab

Prepare large pots of boiling water; when boiling, add the live crab. Cover most of the way and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the crab and let it cool a bit, then use this crab cleaning method to prepare for the table. Serve with drawn butter; use a cast iron based pan (in my case, a vintage dutch enameled pan) to keep the butter warm for longer, tableside.

A Whole Roasted Trout Recipe

 

Whole Roasted Trout from McFarland Farms

A few weeks ago, Peter served up a delicious, and, to my shock, farmed whole trout. He stuffed it with prosciutto and vegetables, preceded it with a baby beet salad with seasoned ricotta, and a great meal was had by all. This afternoon I braved the Thanksgiving crowds and visited Bi-Rite to get myself a trout and try it out myself.

McFarland Farms Whole Roasted Trout Meat

Whole Roasted Trout Stuffed with Prosciutto & Fennel Recipe

Serves 3-4

1 whole trout, 1.5-2 lbs (this is a rainbow trout)
4 pieces freshly sliced prosciutto di parma
1/2 head fennel, sliced thinly and sauteed until nearly caramelized in butter
zest of 1/2 lemon
salt

Ensure the trout is gutted fully and clean; season with salt inside and line the cavity with the prosciutto slices. Toss the cooked fennel with the lemon zest; between the sides of flesh, stuff the fennel into the fish. If you have twine or something edible to tie the fish together, do so now. Roast at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes depending on the weight of your fish, on a foil lined pan, without cover.

When serving, gently remove the skin from the top half of the fish and push the meat off the bones. When the spine is exposed, lift it up or turn the fish over to remove the rest of the meat. Remove the prosciutto sack and cut it into slices to serve along the fish.

Thanksgiving Floral Arrangement

thanksgiving floral arrangement

thanksgiving floral arrangement

Stopped by Bi-Rite Market and selected a few stems to make a tall bouquet for the mantle. I already had the rocks and vase, so this more than 30 inch high arrangement cost $18, and I suspect it will last at least a week.

 

 

A Muse: Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

I’m in love with this cookbook. Jerusalem – Ottolenghi’s latest is super sensory pleasing. Since I’m off nightshades and grains–probably permanently, middle eastern cuisine has been a great fit. Clearly, this change in my diet is why you’re off a lot of my recipes–there’s been a marked lull in my post frequency, and it’s because I’m cooking more for necessity and nourishment, and I’m slowly marrying that with decadence, deliciousness and beauty. It’s a time of testing recipes and I hope to deliver many new, healthy, wonderful ones to you soon.

In the meantime, please enjoy Jerusalem. It’s an incredible cookbook, delicious, approachable, and healthy.

Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Tomato-Red Pepper Sauce

A new favorite, this can be prepared ahead and cooked on a weeknight, it’s healthy and chock-full of vegetables and lean protein. I clearly was lazy in peeling my peppers, but we didn’t mind a bit of charred skin here and there.

Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Tomato-Red Pepper Sauce Recipe
Serves two for main course

The Peppers & Filling
4 poblano peppers, charred over a flame and peeled or cooked at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and peeled
3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and chopped roughly
2 cloves garlic, minced finely or mashed
2 T fresh cilantro and/or basil, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped finely
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp sea salt

Combine all but the peppers in a bowl, and stuff the peppers with the mixture, closing them again as best you can. Bake in oven at 350 for 8-11 minutes, depending on size of the peppers. Shrimp will be completely white and pink when done.

For the Tomato-Red Pepper Sauce
1 large red bell pepper, roasted at 400 degrees, peeled, seeds removed and tossed into a blender
2 ripe, never refrigerated roma tomatoes or one small can peeled roma tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp chili flakes or equivilent
4 small-medium shallots, chopped finely
2 tsp coconut oil or other cooking oil

In a sauce pan, warm the coconut oil and add the shallots and chili flakes, cooking until shallots begin to go limp. Add the garlic and chili flakes, followed immediately by the tomatoes–slice thinly the tomatoes and add to the pan, cooking at medium heat until they are falling apart, about 20 minutes. Add it all to the blender with the roasted pepper and puree. It will likely be thicker than soup; you can thin it with vegetable or chicken stock, or serve it thick under the cooked peppers.