Monday, July 20, 2009

Soft-Shell Crab BLT

There is not much to say except this is a must. Find the small soft-shell crabs, get good bacon, and watch out for the splattering oil. You will be well rewarded with the perfect soft-shell crabs to eat on their own or if you want one of the best sandwiches possible.

Chicken-Fried Soft-Shell Crabs
Fish Without a Doubt, Rick & Moonen & Roy Finamore

For the Marinade
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped scallions
3 tbls chopped fresh dill
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp chili paste

12 ("hotel") soft-shell crabs, cleaned
coarse salt and white pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
corn or peanut oil for frying

For the marinade: Combine the buttermilk, onion, scallions, dill, garlic, zest, and chili paste in a baking dish. Whisk or stir well.

Lay the crabs int he marinade, making sure you've got them completely coasted. Cover with plastic and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The crabs will weep into the marinade; this is fine.

Remove the crabs from the marinade and season with salt and white pepper. Combine the flour and cornmeal and dip the crabs, patting to coat well. Lay them on a rack over a baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set the coating.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy skillet (this is a good time to pull out your cast-iron pan) until very hot but not smoking. fry the crabs in batches for about 2 mins on the first side, then turn and fry for another minute. The crust should be golden. Be prepared: the crabs will spit when you fry them; a splatter screen will come in handy. Drain on paper towels, and serve with remoulade or tarter sauce.

To make the Soft-Shell Crab BLT

If your a BLT fan, get ready for something awesome. Spread some potato rolls or hamburger buns with butter and toast them on a griddle. Smear the rolls with tarter sauce or mayonnaise and build a sandwich with chicken-fried soft-shell crab, bacon, lettuce, tomato, sliced avocado, and a few grinds of the pepper mill.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cooking with Top Chef Finalist Carla Hall at l'Academie de Cuisine

It has been a long time since my last post, I sincerely apologise but I have been quite busy and in the next few day I hope to tell you about it all. First and most recently was last night's cooking class with Carla Hall. I have been assisting at L'Academie de Cuisine for a few months now and I was lucky enough to get chosen to assist Carla's class. It was fun, tasty, and I love hanging out with celebrity chefs.

I went to China! For two and a half weeks I wandered around Beijing ate great cheap food and even took a Hutong cooking class. More about all of this later, there is so much to tell.

And then there is my darling Cook Book Club or CBC as we are now calling it. There have been a few dinners since I last reported on them so I have to catch up. I am also working a complete list of all the books we have covered since our inception almost 2 years ago.

So after the long break I am back and ready to share. I will try to include all the fun food details from the past few months so please come on back for more.