Tangled Branches: Satiated
riveting tales of how we sustain ourselves
Thursday, March 23, 2006
A Can of Crabmeat and Two People
Costco and BJ's both offer 1 lb. cans of Phillips crab meat. It seems extravagent, but I can get several meals out of one can, and it needs to be used up quickly once opened. With only two people to feed, we eat a lot of crabmeat within a few days. The last can went like this:
Day 1 - Crab and Corn Chowder
This is something I've been making for a long time. There are lots of recipes of this type floating around, but I think this is my own invention.
Fry 3 slices of bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and saute 1 medium onion (chopped) and 1 medium russet potato (cubed) in the bacon drippings. (If it looks like there is going to be too much bacon grease, remove some before adding the onion and potato.) Season to taste with black pepper, white pepper (more heat, different flavor than black pepper), and celery seed. Add 1 cup frozen sweet corn and 2 cups milk. Cook until potato is done. Stir in reserved bacon (crumbled) and 1/3 to 1/2 lb. of crab meat. Add salt to taste, but probably won't need much. I've lately been adding a tsp. or so of fish sauce and a drop or two of Worcestershire sauce - it seems to make it a little more flavorful - but then you really don't need much (or any) salt.
Day 2 - Leftover Crab and Corn Chowder for lunch
Served with Pecan Muffins, adapted from a Nut Bread recipe in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. This is a really nice quick bread, not too sweet (makes really good toast the next day) and this time I just made the recipe into 12 "normal" sized muffins. You know, the size they used to be in the 60s, the 12-to-a-pan size.
Day 3 - Crabmeat Nachos
We wanted a light dinner, and so I just strewed some crabmeat, cheddar cheese, and Danish fontina cheese over some Charras tostadas. Put the whole thing under the broiler for a very short time (hint: remove from the oven before the tortilla chips burn). Served with a semi-homemade salsa: One can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles, some fresh lime juice, some chopped garlic chives (from the garden!), some chopped cilantro, tiny pinches of salt and sugar.
Day 4 - Crabmeat Breakfast Burritos
Scrambled a few eggs with the remaining crabmeat and a small amount of the leftover Ro-Tel salsa. Served on flour tortillas with more (store-bought) salsa. We almost always have roasted potatoes with our breakfast burritos. I cut russet potatoes into various size chunks (try to have some pointy edges and ends, not just cubed), then toss them with olive oil, salt, and chili powder, and put it into a heavy metal pan (roasting pan, gratin pan, frying pan, what have you, but I think it should be heavy and metal). If I have some bacon I want to use up (I did this time), I cut up a slice or two and scatter that on top of the potatoes. Put in the oven at 375 degrees or more, and roast until the potatoes are nice and brown. Stir a few times if you feel like it, but let them start to brown first.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Chipmunks Are Trying to Kill Us
Last weekend was beautiful weather here - time to fire up the grill for the first steaks of the season. Taking the cover off the grill for the first time in the spring is always a bit of an adventure. You never know what's been nesting in there for the winter and what they've left behind. This year it seemed to be serving as the chipmunks' granary - there were a few acorn shells strewn about, but nothing too extreme. (So I believed.) DH said he was going to clean out the acorn shells before turning on the grill (this is a gas grill BTW). I said, "Nah, there's just a few and they'll burn up." (Turns out there were more than just a few.) We turned on the grill and left it to burn off the accumulated crud, and then DH decided to close the lid and let it get good and hot. He went back in the house. I was working in the kitchen and I looked outside and said to myself, "Gee, that's a lot of smoke for just burning off some old grease." So I went outside to get a better look. Yikes - an acorn inferno was blazing away. I turned off the gas and the fire kept burning. Luckily I had the watering can outside, so I doused it using that. The fire went right out, but we decided the grill needed to be thoroughly cleaned out before trying again.
But the steaks and potatoes were ready to go on the grill :-( What to do? I put the potatoes in the oven, and later the steaks under the broiler. The meal turned out fine; we didn't burn down the house; and we bought a new burner for the grill just because.
The menu: Wegman's Prime Dry-Aged Ribeye Steak; Mixed Mushrooms sauteed in butter and olive oil; Potatoes and Onions cooked in Aluminun Foil (sliced potatoes and onions with salt, pepper, and a couple of spoonsful of olive oil drizzled over); Orange and Onion Salad (sliced blood oranges and Cara Cara oranges with a few thin slices of onion on top, salt, pepper and olive oil).