Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

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


Recommended Posts

Hi, sorry I'm late--life has been hectic recently, but now I'm all caught up with your delightful blog.

Everything looks great, but I have to give a special shout-out to your greens, which looked gorgeous. I got hooked on greens at some point, and wound up teaching myself how to cook them out of this terrific Kwanzaa book which features a whole bunch of festive recipes from all over the African diaspora. The recipe I use from this book has an interesting twist: it specifies using three types of greens. The types can vary according to availability and taste, but you have to use three of 'em. And it says to throw 'em all in at the same time, so you wind up with a variety of textures all mixed together, which I kind of dig.

Link to post
Share on other sites
:biggrin: As I looked at the spent plate of ribs, I couldn't help but think of how my Mom was never happy with how we ate our bone-in meat, and always finished our bones clean!  Unfortunately, I just heard from my sis that she's in the the ER for testing tonight (she's a young 70), so the memory was timely.  Let's hope it's just something minor and has many years of bone nibbling in her future! :wub:

Great blog thus far, and I went back and looked at your kitchen remodel and must say it's wonderful!  Love the sliding trash bin too.

Cheers,

Thank you, and best wishes to your mother. Mrs. Crab is normally the bone-nibbler in our family, but she is on her best behavior these days. :wub: OK, now I'm really going to bed.

Merci, and Mom is doing okay. I think the Nibblers are the Best!

Carolyn

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

Link to post
Share on other sites
When we want really good Russian food, we whine until our friends from Russia invite us to dinner. They make amazing quantities of delicious Russian food, enjoyed around a crowded table while simultaneous conversations bounce back and forth in multiple languages.

If there's one culture that really knows how to do dinner, it's Russians. I studied in Moscow in college and I loved being a guest in Russian homes. Fancy dishes didn't matter, nor did fancy manners, nor the did the fact that my Russian (even after 3 years of study) sucked. What mattered was having a great big crowd around the table, tons of amazing food, even more vodka, and lots of conversation--language barrier or no. I miss those days and miss my friend Anton's father's borscht.

Link to post
Share on other sites
How many WW points are one of those, since you broiled them?

After some calculations this morning ("How many Saltines are in a cup of crushed Saltines?"), Mrs. C determined that the crabcakes were 5 points apiece.

Thank you so much! I love your doggies. Your yellow one looks very much like my yellow dog ( not the one in the picture), and she's four years old and loves to stalk us when we eat pizza or pretty much anything else.

Edited by lucylou95816 (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
c.s, they look delicious to me -- i usually slice them thinner so they're easier to eat, but that's just a matter of preference.  i'm getting hungry just looking at them.  and those people that don't like pot liquor, just because it's grayish green and cloudy and looks like dishwater?  those people are wrong.

Cool - I wondered about slicing up the greens. Do you slice them before or after cooking? Mrs. C and I liked the greens, so there will be a next time.

before. the lady that taught me how to make greens said to roll them up together in five or six leaf bunches and slice them across--kind of like a giant chiffonade.

although of course she'd never have said chiffonade.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I love cornbread, but it isn’t on the very short list of things that I know how to bake. Instead, I made biscuits. Ingredients:

gallery_28660_4106_10242.jpg

Out of the freezer, on the parchment paper, and ready to bake:

gallery_28660_4106_24858.jpg

Finished biscuits. Even elder son liked them, and he doesn’t normally like biscuits.

gallery_28660_4106_19757.jpg

Holy crap, those biscuits are a thing of beauty! I live in Northern Virginia - send me some???? It looks like you rolled them out nice and thick - was the butter frozen? Is that how they came out so flaky?

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm enjoying the cooking, the kids, the dogs... but a shout out for the Slice of Life dinnerware.  I hog the surgery plate, myself.

Ding ding ding - we have a winner! I wondered who would notice the plates first. Mrs. Crab is a nurse, so she gets the surgery plate. I had the "grilling on the moon" plate, for obvious reasons.

Love the dinner ware! Thanks for naming it, Maggie. Wondrous stuff, that, for eating off.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce! Great to see you blogging. It's a great glimpse past the one plate we see in the 'Dinner!' thread...

You got really lucky with your boys. I hope they continue to appreciate what a great life you're able to give them (and I'm sure that they give you as well). The effort you and your wife make to have a great dinner on the table every night is amazing.

I lived in Arlington as a child (Army dad) and I remember my mom getting like a bushel of crabs at the Chesapeake Bay market (I was very young, so I'm not sure about this). She covered the kitchen floor with newspaper and we just sat there cracking crab and eating the meat! Crazy Chinese lady :wub: ! At any rate, she is also a nibbler, so when I saw the picture of your son's pile of ribs I immediately thought of her as well :laugh: .

Really enjoying the blog! And I'll ask for MarketStEl as he may have forgotten...what about the fridge and pantry shots?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Everything looks great, but I have to give a special shout-out to your greens, which looked gorgeous. I got hooked on greens at some point, and wound up teaching myself how to cook them out of this terrific Kwanzaa book which features a whole bunch of festive recipes from all over the African diaspora. The recipe I use from this book has an interesting twist: it specifies using three types of greens. The types can vary according to availability and taste, but you have to use three of 'em. And it says to throw 'em all in at the same time, so you wind up with a variety of textures all mixed together, which I kind of dig.

I usually combine collards with either mustard or turnip greens when I fix greens, but I also either simmer mine for about 2-3 hours or cook them in a Crock-Pot, so they're all very soft by the time I serve them. Maybe I should try cooking them less and see what happens.

BTW, C. -- those biscuits really do look fabulous! Maybe I should refrigerate my shortening before cutting it into the flour and baking powder? I've never been able to produce a flaky biscuit, ever. I do make decent drop biscuits, though.

Oh, and thanks, alanamoana.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce,

This is really great. I just relocated to Walkersville this past summer, and have been searching hard for the local food secrets. Already you have given me two I was unaware of between The Common Market and the Flying Barrel. I'm looking forward to seeing what else crops up. Thank you for sharing!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good evening, and thanks for your collective patience. I’ll post today’s pictures first, and then answer questions after. We decided to start the day with breakfast. Mrs. Crab gets up at oh-dark-thirty and eats first:

gallery_28660_4106_21109.jpg

I had a banana and leftover sweet potatoes with walnuts, cinnamon, and allspice. I like some protein in the morning – it helps avoid a mid-morning vending machine raid.

gallery_28660_4106_32146.jpg

Elder son’s breakfast - he likes his omelets firm.

gallery_28660_4106_16132.jpg

Younger son’s bowl of fluorescent sugary joy.

gallery_28660_4106_11707.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, I was remiss – I also meant to thank everyone for their kind comments and excellent questions.

Until recently, we had a 12-cup coffee maker. Mrs. Crab leaves early for work, so she heats up my stainless steel thermos, makes the coffee, and grabs a cup on her way out the door. Yeah, she’s pretty wonderful. :wub::wub::wub: This routine left me four steaming mugs of half-decaf joy: one to drink before work; and three to administer as necessary during the workday.

The 12-cup coffee maker expired a few months ago. After extensive research, we bought a 10-cup Technivorm Moccamaster. With one less mug of coffee in the thermos, I had no antidote for mid-afternoon slumps or particularly long meetings. To restore caffeine equilibrium, I started using our 20-year old Melitta pour-over filter in the morning. This reminded me how good coffee tastes from a Melitta filter, and left me with three full mugs for the thermos.

gallery_28660_4106_35048.jpg

gallery_28660_4106_33395.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bruce, I am a big fan of the melitta pour-over (and at the cabin, with no electricity, it is the best option). Have you considered getting a gold filter so you can quit worrying about running out of disposable filters?

I also own one of the one-cup melitta gold filters, which I still treasure. I don't know that they are available any more...

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to post
Share on other sites

We had lunch at Hagan's Tavery (clickety), normally a special-occasion place for us.

gallery_28660_4106_36464.jpg

The building dates to the late 1700s.

gallery_28660_4106_44780.jpg

Located on the old National Road, this is the kind of place that could plausibly claim that “George Washington slept here.” As I recall, Washington accompanied General Braddock when he cut a road past Frederick and Braddock Heights during the French and Indian Wars. Alternate Route 40 generally follows that same roadway today (I’m going from memory here, but I think at least some of this history is true).

gallery_28660_4106_13697.jpg

Braddock Heights, just west of Frederick on Route 40, has beautiful views in four directions. Hand-painted murals on the dining room walls represent the view from Hagan’s Tavern in the 1790s.

gallery_28660_4106_14619.jpg

gallery_28660_4106_25250.jpg

Stenciled wall coverings and thick stone walls.

gallery_28660_4106_30178.jpg

The bar is way cool. Mrs. Crab and I ate in the bar during one of our earlier dates – back then the bar was illuminated with candles rather than electricity.

gallery_28660_4106_17488.jpg

But enough about cool buildings and on to the food. My beautiful and delightful dining companion :wub::wub::wub:

gallery_28660_4106_3341.jpg

The menu changes with the seasons:

gallery_28660_4106_23515.jpg

The sauteed crab appetizer was delicious – that is what jumbo lump crab meat is supposed to look like. Note also what Mrs. Crab described as the "lemon condom" - her comment made me not want to squeeze the lemon. :biggrin:

gallery_28660_4106_2065.jpg

Mrs. Crab had the portabella mushroom sandwich (sorry about the blurry picture). It was another winner, even with the cheese removed (less WW points). We were trying to figure out the marinade – the flavor was meaty and delicious.

gallery_28660_4106_37343.jpg

I had a crab cake sandwich. This was also very good, but I prefer the ones we made at home. :raz: Hagan's does amazing things with sherry cream sauce and mushrooms - as good as their other offerings are, I always kick myself if I don't order something with at least one of the two.

gallery_28660_4106_12944.jpg

Ben, our incredibly helpful server, brought the dessert tray so we could take a picture. The servers dress in period costume. It took a lot of willpower not to order dessert, but we had to get back to work.

gallery_28660_4106_30527.jpg

Next: Dinner!

Edit: splelnig

Edited by C. sapidus (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up younger son after work. He had a little “snack” before dinner:

gallery_28660_4106_35370.jpg

Mrs. Crab worked late, picked up elder son from basketball practice, dropped off one of elder son’s teammates, and arrived home around 7:00. Atypically, I had dinner on the table shortly thereafter. We also ate the salad greens from yesterday. Mrs. Crab made a dressing of Key lime vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.

Dinner: chicken stir-fried with lemongrass and chile (ga xao xa ot), from Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, served with jasmine rice, and cucumbers. The recipe was simple, the directions very clear, and the flavors were rich with coconut milk, fragrant with lemongrass and curry spices, and gently spicy with Thai chilies. I like this cookbook so far.

gallery_28660_4106_1778.jpg

I started the rice first – a cup and a half of jasmine rice, 1.25 cups of water per cup of rice, bring to a boil for a few seconds, cover and steam for 15 minutes, and rest covered for at least 10 minutes.

gallery_28660_4106_6793.jpg

Ingredients for the chicken:

gallery_28660_4106_34680.jpg

gallery_28660_4106_10848.jpg

Marinate cut-up chicken thighs in fish sauce, curry powder, salt, and sugar:

gallery_28660_4106_28370.jpg

Finely mince lemongrass, Thai chilies, and shallots, stir-fry briefly, add marinated chicken and bell peppers, and sear in the wok:

gallery_28660_4106_45779.jpg

Add coconut milk, bring to a boil . . .

gallery_28660_4106_56131.jpg

. . . and simmer until the liquid reduces and the chicken is done:

gallery_28660_4106_42068.jpg

Eternal cucumbers :biggrin: – the boys went through two bowls full.

gallery_28660_4106_1102.jpg

[dog]”Hey, are you gonna eat that? Will you give me some if I do my meerkat impression?"[/dog]

gallery_28660_4106_33194.jpg

Younger son had another “snack” before bedtime. That kid sure can pack away the ribs.

gallery_28660_4106_35370.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bruce, if you have the opportunity, and they permit, do take pics at the local Latino and Asian markets.  Do either (or both) have meat counters?

Last time I was at my Asian market, I got a jar of a pretty neat condiment -- ithe brand is Por Kwan -- Chilli (sic) Paste with Sweet Basil Leaves.  It's in a glass jar, with a nice oil slick on top.  It's very nice and zingy, and makes a great addition to eggs.  Ingredients listed are red chili (32%), sweet basil leaves (27%), soya bean oil (22.99%), garlic (14%), salt (4%), paprika natural color (.01%).  They suggest cooking with it, which I haven't done.

And, another Choula lover!  It's that, sirichi, chipotle Tabasco, or the green Cajun Chef stuff.

Susan, the Latino market has a meat counter, but the local Asian market does not. There is an Asian market in Wheaton (~45 minutes away) that has an amazing meat counter - all of the pig parts that you don't see in the regular grocery stores. I'm not sure when we will get to the Asian and Latino markets - perhaps on Wednesday, when Mrs. Crab is making dinner.

Chile-basil paste sounds like fun - I have seen something like that, but haven't tried it yet.

I used to make a hot sauce from one of Diane Kennedy's cookbooks. It was packed with aromatic spices and De Arbol chiles, really delicious, I once gave it away as Christmas presents. I haven't made it for a while, though.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bruce,

This is really great.  I just relocated to Walkersville this past summer, and have been searching hard for the local food secrets.  Already you have given me two I was unaware of between The Common Market and the Flying Barrel.  I'm looking forward to seeing what else crops up.  Thank you for sharing!

Hi donk, great to "meet" another local. Are you looking for any particular kind of food? Saturday mornings in the summer, definitely check out the farmer's market behind the discount movie theater on Baughman's Lane, near the intersection with Route 40 West (in Frederick). Stone Hearth Bakery in downtown Frederick (Shab Row, if you know it) has some incredible breads and rugelach.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bruce, I am a big fan of the melitta pour-over (and at the cabin, with no electricity, it is the best option).  Have you considered getting a gold filter so you can quit worrying about running out of disposable filters?

I've thought about a gold filter, but haven't gone beyond thinking yet. I just use the large paper filters that fit the drip coffee maker - we better not run out of those!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, with the name of the recipe (Faidley's World Famous Crab Cakes), I found the recipe online!

Excellent!

Will have to check & see what kind of crabmeat I can get -- we usually buy our crab as whole legs/claws in shells, but I know Costco sells crabmeat packs. What's your trick to keeping the crab cakes from falling apart?

Hmm, that is a difficult question to answer. I have only made crab cakes twice - they held together both times, but I don't know why. :hmmm: I wonder if the type of crab meat makes a difference - does lower quality meat (smaller pieces) hold together better than the good stuff (larger pieces)?

I know that there are some very experienced crabcake makers out there - does anyone have a suggestion?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, sorry I'm late--life has been hectic recently, but now I'm all caught up with your delightful blog.

Everything looks great, but I have to give a special shout-out to your greens, which looked gorgeous. I got hooked on greens at some point, and wound up teaching myself how to cook them out of this terrific Kwanzaa book which features a whole bunch of festive recipes from all over the African diaspora. The recipe I use from this book has an interesting twist: it specifies using three types of greens. The types can vary according to availability and taste, but you have to use three of 'em. And it says to throw 'em all in at the same time, so you wind up with a variety of textures all mixed together, which I kind of dig.

Thank you, and what a neat idea for cooking greens. Mrs. Crab would love the variety of textures.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I accept the expert title by age, experience and default and tell you, "MANNN, that's a FINE mess a greens!!!" :wub:

Thank you kindly, ma'am! Your previous posts on the subject of greens in general, and collard greens in particular, were motivational and informational. :smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Holy crap, those biscuits are a thing of beauty! I live in Northern Virginia - send me some???? It looks like you rolled them out nice and thick - was the butter frozen? Is that how they came out so flaky?

Thank you, Basilgirl! The butter and shortening were refrigerator temperature before mixing with the dry ingredients. I also used heavy cream, on the theory that the more detrimental an ingredient is to your health, the better it will be when baked. :laugh:

Beginner's luck, methinks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
You got really lucky with your boys.

Alana:You are absolutely right - the boys have enriched our lives immeasurably.

The effort you and your wife make to have a great dinner on the table every night is amazing.

Great fun, though, and, when we have time, a perfect way to relax after work.

I lived in Arlington as a child (Army dad) and I remember my mom getting like a bushel of crabs at the Chesapeake Bay market (I was very young, so I'm not sure about this).  She covered the kitchen floor with newspaper and we just sat there cracking crab and eating the meat!  Crazy Chinese lady  :wub: !

I'm assuming that you did not have dogs. :biggrin: Didn't Sazji say that they often eat/prepare food on or near the floor in Turkey?

Really enjoying the blog!  And I'll ask for MarketStEl as he may have forgotten...what about the fridge and pantry shots?

Rats - I was hoping Sandy forgot about the fridge shot. Perhaps after tomorrow, when we clear out the stock pot of borscht in the fridge.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Similar Content

    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By KennethT
      I was thinking of doing a food blog of my recent trip through parts of New Zealand's south island.  Most of the food we had was nothing spectacular, but the experiences and various scenery we had over the trip were amazing.  Is there any interest in this?
    • By Melania
      It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita.
       
      My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away.
       
       
      What a nightmare! How can this be?
        A local passing by must have noticed my frustration.   "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!"
        Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta?
        A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really).
        For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach!
        Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system!
        "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
               
           
    • By KennethT
      OK.... here we go again!!!  While this post is a bit premature (we don't take off until around 1:30AM tonight), I am extremely excited so I figured I'd just set up the topic now.  As in previous foodblogs, I may post a bit from time to time while we're there, depending on how good my internet connection is, and how much free time I have... but the bulk of posting will really get started around July 9th - the day after we get home (hopefully without too much jetlag!!!)
    • By KennethT
      Happy New Year!  I'm sitting at the gate waiting for my flight from Saigon to NYC connecting through Taipei so I figured this would be a good opportunity to get started... But this is just the intro- the rest will gave to wait until I land about 22 hours from now, sleep for about 12 hours, then get my photos in order! We had a great week enjoying beautiful weather, taking in the frenetic yet relaxed street life and eating some amazing local food...
      Our flight here was on EVA Airline and was very pleasant and uneventful. Our flight from Nyc to Taipei left around 12:20 AM on the 24th. I love those night flights since it makes it very easy to get a decent amount of sleep, even in coach. EVAs food is quite good eith both Chinese and western choices for dinner and breakfast, and they came through several times with snacks such as a fried chicken sandwich with some kind of mustard. I think I had 4 of them!
      Once I get home, I'll continue posting with pics from our feast in the Taipei airport.... Spoiler: those who have read my Singapore foodblog from July may see a slight trend...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...