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eG Foodblog: C. sapidus - Crabs, Borscht, and Fish Sauce


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Very nice! I'm not big on planning menus ahead more than one day in advance except for special occasions, so I'll be interested to see how this works. How often do you do your grocery shopping for the week?

Making a meal plan works very well for us. You will see why when we go back to work on Tuesday. We try to shop once a week, but I often make a second trip to the Asian supermarket or regular grocery store for produce.

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Way cool, the meal planner and list thingie...  Back in the day, when the boyz were in high school, I used to plan meals in advance like that.  I had a calendar of menus on the fridge, and everybody would look to see what was planned, including my sons' friends.  They all got a big kick out of it, and chose certain times to get themselves invited to dinner.  Nice memory.  Great blog!

Thanks, Susan! Having hungry boyz in the house definitely forces the grownups to be more organized. :biggrin:

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Do your children have a say in the meal planning, too? They seem to be very involved in cooking at your house--an unusual sight! I don't think I've seen young boys so involved in food/cooking since Snowangel's foodblogs!

I want to see dogs! I'd rather see cats, but dogs are OK, too.

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I'm so gladddd it's you!!! What great kitchen apprentices you have, and their plates look like mine---more cucumber than anything else. I'll be SO GLAD when we have them in the garden again; it's lovely to walk out five minutes before dinner and pick one (or six).

Your page numbers on the calendar look like my hymn list used to look when I was pianist for our little church for so many years.

(And I guessed it was you. You just don't have to tell anyone that I guessed it for November).

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as a librarian (and a food person) love the books. just introduced one of our new hires to nugyen's book and have just discovered true lime and true lemon which i use as a backup for when i run out of the real stuff. any chance we can see some cow tipping among those mcmansions?

does crab imperial figure into your ideas for tonight or more of crab cakes? any local beers that might make an appearance?(sorry but i always equate crab and beer - and lobster and champagne)

blog on, dude

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Do your children have a say in the meal planning, too?  They seem to be very involved in cooking at your house--an unusual sight!  I don't think I've seen young boys so involved in food/cooking since Snowangel's foodblogs! 

I want to see dogs!  I'd rather see cats, but dogs are OK, too.

I must agree with that! You and Mrs C must be very good teachers. I've 3 girls and though 2 out of 3 show potential, I zip through cooking too fast to get them involved.

Glad you're blogging too. Never get enough of your meal pix...

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Thanks for bloggingand photos of a beautiful part of the country. I'm from Virginia and miss it so. I'd never tasted those swirled toll house chips before but my dad brought some on his last visit and now we are all addicted! I would love to find a menu planner like yours here in Australia. For now I'll have to keep using post its.

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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For dinner we had crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce, a vegetable stir-fry, and smashed fingerling potatoes with olive oil and tarragon.

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I started the crabcakes early because they need to chill in the fridge for an hour. None of the stores had jumbo lump crab meat, so we used backfin instead. Crabcake ingredients:

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Making crab cakes is like playing with lumpy, crabby play-do. We picked out any shells before mixing the ingredients:

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Dividing into eight portions:

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The key is not to squeeze too hard when forming the crabcakes - you want them to just barely hold together. Chill the crabcakes for an hour in the fridge.

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While the crabcakes were chilling, I made some tartar sauce. It was good on the crabs and the potatoes, but I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Anyway, these were the tartar sauce ingredients.

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After an hour in the fridge, the crabcakes are ready for 4-5 minutes per side under the broiler. Last time we made crabcakes we ran a family crabcake taste test – broiled versus pan-fried. The family preferred broiled.

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Crabcakes ready to eat.

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Bruce, loving your blog so far.....those crab cakes are making me hungry and they look divine. As a novice to cooking with crab meat, do you mind if I ask what is the difference between lump crab meat and back fin? How many WW points are one of those, since you broiled them?

What good looking sons you have, and that's great that they are getting an early start to cooking.

thanks!

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It's my humble opinion that you're one of the most talented cooks in the Dinner thread, Bruce. So good to see you doing a blog! :smile: I have the Fuschia Dunlop book as well, but we haven't done too much cooking out of it. I've done the 'yu xiang rou si' dish (fish fragrant pork slivers) and had to do quite a few modifications to the sauce to make it taste right, but it was really good in the end. Which are some of your favourite recipes from that book?

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I use an Ikea drying rack over the prep sink as my cookbook-holder. Normally I’m a recipe-follower . . .

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. . . but cultures often clash when I wing it. The veggie stir had ingredients from Mexico, China, and Thailand:

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Prepped and ready to go.

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Turn the hood fan on high and fire up the wok:

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Stir-fry the garlic and ginger for a few seconds, and then add the baby bok choy and sliced Poblano chile:

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When the veggies are mostly done, add Shaoxing rice wine, Chinkiang vinegar, and fermented soybean paste:

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Give it a taste, and add a little fish sauce and chile bean paste.

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Oops, forgot the tomatoes so I stir-fried them separately.

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Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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Meanwhile, Mrs. Crab made smashed potatoes with tarragon, olive oil, salt and pepper. An otherwise exemplary human being, Mrs. Crab has a weakness for puns (visual or verbal). Fingerling potatoes.

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Mrs. Crab also made a big pot of borscht for later this week. To a previously-prepared chicken-vegetable stock, she added red and yellow beets, orange and yellow carrots, parsnips, white turnips, onions, celery, broccoli slaw, and thinly-sliced deli ham.

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Beets - caught red-handed!

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Borscht simmering in the pot – it smelled and tasted really good.

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any chance we can see some cow tipping among those mcmansions?

No cow tipping – those are street-smart urban cows. :rolleyes:

any local beers that might make an appearance?(sorry but i always equate crab and beer - and lobster and champagne)

Thanks for reminding me. We did not have beer with dinner, but we did have a dry Riesling. Later on, I’ll show you some extremely local beer – a Russian imperial stout that Mrs. Crab and I brewed at the Flying Barrel (clickety), a brew-on-premises store in town.

When we don’t have a batch of homebrew, we usually stock Blue Ridge porter from the former Frederick Brewing Company. They started out where the Flying Barrel is now located, but have moved to a larger facility near town. Apparently, the Flying Dog Ownership Group has purchased the Frederick Brewing Company and renamed it Wild Goose Brewery.

Crabs and beer - it doesn't get much better than that. A Maryland blog would be remiss without steamed blue crabs and cold brew. We hope to partake later this week.

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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Bruce:

It's great to see someone from around here doing a food blog. I share the admiration of all regarding your food. (And your wife's visual pun.) Out of curiosity, what outskirt of D.C. instilled an interest in the foods of different cultures?

I look forward to the rest of the week.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Do your children have a say in the meal planning, too?  They seem to be very involved in cooking at your house--an unusual sight!  I don't think I've seen young boys so involved in food/cooking since Snowangel's foodblogs! 

I want to see dogs!  I'd rather see cats, but dogs are OK, too.

The grownups usually plan the meals, but the boys will occasionally request a particular dinner. They have been lobbying for ribs lately, so I’ll probably make some tomorrow.

There will be dog pictures. Sorry, we don’t have cats.

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You and Mrs C must be very good teachers. I've 3 girls and though 2 out of 3 show potential, I zip through cooking too fast to get them involved.

Glad you're blogging too. Never get enough of your meal pix...

Thank you, Teepee - I have always enjoyed your pictures, and wish that you posted more often.

The boys seem interested in learning how to make their favorite foods. As I'm sure you know, teaching is much easier when you have a receptive audience.

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Bruce, how old are the boys?

Elder son is a newly-minted teenager, and younger son recently hit double digits.

  When do we get a kitchen tour?

Not tonight - I'm going to bed soon, but I do have some pictures to share later this week. In the meantime, I described our kitchen renovation in excruciating detail on Dave Hatfield's thread Kitchen remodeling, see what others have recently done (Post #23) (scroll down a bit - there are pictures after the verbiage).

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Bruce, loving your blog so far.....those crab cakes are making me hungry and they look divine.  As a novice to cooking with crab meat, do you mind if I ask what is the difference between lump crab meat and back fin?  How many WW points are one of those, since you broiled them?

What good looking sons you have, and that's great that they are getting an early start to cooking.

thanks!

Lucylou - Thank you! Jumbo lump crab meat is mostly huge, unbroken, gleaming-white chunks of pure backfin crab meat. "Backfin" is a lower grade, with smaller pieces and more dark claw meat mixed in. It still tastes great, but jumbo lump crab meat is glorious stuff.

I'll ask Mrs. Crab about the WW points in the morning - she said that they were fairly low.

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Bruce: 

It's great to see someone from around here doing a food blog.  I share the admiration of all regarding your food.  (And your wife's visual pun.)  Out of curiosity, what outskirt of D.C. instilled an interest in the foods of different cultures?

I look forward to the rest of the week.

Thank you, Pontormo. I grew up inside the beltway in Silver Spring. Progress has changed downtown Silver Spring, sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much. National chains have displaced a lot of the inexpensive “ethnic” places that I loved, but a few old favorites are still around. I took some pictures a couple of weeks ago, all within a single block of Thayer Avenue.

The Thai Market is excellent – I frequently see it listed as a resource in the back of Thai cookbooks.

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Negril has amazing beef patties, jerk chicken, and an incredibly dense and delicious sweet potato pie.

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Ethiopian restaurants seem to have moved out to the suburbs. Back in the day, we had to go to Adams-Morgan for Ethiopian food. The sign for an Indian restaurant in the next block is too small to read. My favorite Indian vegetarian restaurant, Siddhartha, would have been behind me as I took the picture. Their Mysore masala dosas (dosai?) were among the best things I have ever eaten.

gallery_28660_4106_43034.jpg

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
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It's my humble opinion that you're one of  the most talented cooks in the Dinner thread, Bruce. So good to see you doing a blog!  :smile: I have the Fuschia Dunlop book as well, but we haven't done too much cooking out of it. I've done the 'yu xiang rou si' dish (fish fragrant pork slivers) and had to do quite a few modifications to the sauce to make it taste right, but it was really good in the end. Which are some of your favourite recipes from that book?

Why thank you, but you are way to generous. I'm trying a lot of new things these days, so I really haven't mastered any of them. :blush::blush::blush::blush::blush:

I had trouble with the fish fragrant pork slivers, too. Favorites from Land of Plenty include dry-fried chicken (gan bian ji), dry-fried beef slivers (gan bian niu rou si), fish braised in chili bean sauce (dou ban xian yu), fish-fragrant eggplant (yu xiang qie zi), and the cold chicken appetizers - chicken in red oil sauce (hong you ji kuai), hot and numbing chicken slices (ma la ji pian), and bang bang chicken (guai wei ji si)

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Mrs. C and elder son made pancakes this morning. Apparently she slipped when adding the vanilla, so it had about a quarter cup. No complaints from me! The recipe:

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Ingredients (Penzeys Vietnamese cinnamon not pictured):

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Ready to eat. Toppings included cinnamon sugar, honey, and a variety of jams. I had mine with butter – they didn’t need anything else.

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Bruce - your pancake recipe is very similar to mine. And I agree, it taste better with a lot of vanilla. My hubby and youngest son love it soaking in maple syrup. Eldest son and I love it with just a smear of butter - like you do. :wub:

I agree with what the others have said, you are one of the most talented cooks in the Dinner thread, I always enjoy your colorful meal pics. Now I am drooling over your scrumptious crab cakes.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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