Monthly Archives: March 2011

Kids In The Kitchen: Blue Crab Boil

 

Another seafood adventure for Kids In the Kitchen – this time, with blue crabs! Brandan wanted to try a crab boil, as he’d never encountered live crabs before. Sure, we did the lobster thing a few weeks ago, and we’ve had crawfish boils, but never crab. As an avid lover of all things crab, I figured we were overdue for this adventure. I contacted my local fishmonger and we were set. We brought home about 8-9 pounds of blue crab.

Brandan was ecstatic. Of course, as any young boy, he wanted to play with them. So we picked up one, and in response, it angrily latched onto others. You were hard-pressed to only pull one from the bunch – many times, you’d pick up one only to lift a chain of three or four, clasping each other with their claws.

Ready, set, now fight!

After the play ceased and our water was boiling (we simply seasoned with Old Bay, lemons, and a bit of vinegar, which makes for easier picking), we dropped crabs into the water. They were relatively small, so they were cooked through in about 8 minutes. Boiling crustaceans actually is a relatively quick and easy job, compared to a lot of other cooking that goes on in our kitchen! After a brief cool-down, they were ready to pick and eat!

Want to know how to eat a blue crab? Check out this step-by-step tutorial over at Coconut & Lime. (Hint: you might not want to wear your Sunday best for this, and you might want to cover the table in newspaper. Also, plenty of paper towels is a plus.) It does take some time to thoroughly pick the meat from a crab, but it makes for a great social gathering opportunity – just gather around a table filled with crabs and chat and eat! (Also, a not-so-kids-in-the-kitchen-friendly tip – crabs go great with a gluten-free beer.)

The verdict in our household? Brandan and I enjoyed the crab most of all, and put quite a dent in our bounty. (I particularly savored the claw meat – so sweet and delicious.) Brittany and Matthew weren’t fans, although I wasn’t too surprised after the lobster incident last time. John wasn’t as excited about it as he was the lobster. Regardless, it was certainly a delicious adventure.

Boiled Blue Crabs

8-9 lbs live blue crabs

large, deep stockpots, filled with filtered water

1/2 c Old Bay Seasoning

2 T vinegar

2 lemons, cut in half

Add seasoning, vinegar, and lemons to water. Bring water to a boil. Add 1/3 to 1/2 of the crabs to the water and return to a boil. Boil for 8-10 minutes or until crabs are a bright red and are completely cooked through. Remove from water and allow to cool for a minute, and then enjoy! (Repeat with remaining crab)

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Filed under Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Seafood

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Gluten Free For Good and Sauteed Lettuce and Brown Rice Bowl

This month, Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger kind of snuck up on me. Lexie at Lexie’s Kitchen was hosting, and I read her announcement a week ago. I realized I hadn’t picked a blogger to adopt, and I knew that I was going to be swamped with a training class for work all week, leaving next to no time to cook. I really wanted to adopt Melissa at Gluten Free For Good, so I started scouring her site for recipes. I’ve made a version of her red chile enchilada pizza before with Udi’s crust (a deliciously evil treat!), but I didn’t have time for that. A long while back, I’d made a version of her sweet and spicy moroccan stew, and the warming spice blend in that recipe really tugged at me, but there was no time for that either. And then I came across her sauteed lettuce and brown rice bowl. I had lots of leftover romaine lettuce in the fridge that needed to be eaten, and while I was regularly incorporating it into green smoothies (a great alternative to the in-a-hotel conference/training breakfast, which usually consists of some variety of pastry or donut – while everyone else was likely crashing from an overload of sugar, my brain was primed with a nutrient-rich breakfast), there was more available than I could feasibly blend before it went bad. I decided that I’d whip up this recipe one evening for dinner – it wasn’t complicated, and it came together very quickly.

I already had cooked brown rice in the fridge (this is an often occurrence for me), so preparation simply consisted of chopping a bit of vegetables. I omitted the cheese in the recipe to make it dairy-free, but generously topped it with toasted sunflower seeds and some chopped parsley. It was a light dish, with a bit of crunch left in the ribs of the lettuce, but the wilted portions were silky and gave the dish a lovely textural contrast. The sesame seed (gomasio) topping really elevated the dish, reminding me of a lighter version of an Asian-style sauteed bok choy or other green. I enjoyed the leftovers the following morning, cold, topped with a bit of cold sliced egg omelette. Delightful, and it kept my belly happy all morning.

Melissa’s blog is one that I always enjoy reading. She shares recipes, sure, but perhaps even more valuable are her nutritional and health-based stories. I loved her “fuzz” post – worthwhile reading for anyone looking to keep their bodies free from stiffness and inflammation and generally happy and healthy. And her “does my butt look big” post was not only entertaining, but so much so that I couldn’t help but share with my husband. (who responded with a non-chalant “yeah, I already knew that” type of response – as if he always knew his “big-butt” wife was smart. I didn’t complain.) Melissa is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to health, nutrition, fitness, but most importantly, overall well-being, and she has a knack for making this information readily available to the average Joe. I still have more of Melissa’s recipes that I’d love to try – her pumpkin pecan boyfriend bait being my first choice. (I’m a sucker for anything pecan.) Soon, I hope, this will appear in my kitchen – because for me, pumpkin and pecan are year-round good!

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Rice, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian