Sunday, April 28, 2019

Scallop Crudo III

Today just seem to be a scallop crudo day at my house! It is impossible to be full by eating a single scallop at a time! And if I am consuming at this rate then I will definitely extend my scallop supply easily until the next scallop season! Thank you, Mike Anderson and his crew of Rimrack Fish for the fresh-off-the-boat sea scallops!

Today I also feel a bit daring to share this abstract piece with you. Don't let the pink liquid scare you. It is from a little of the freshly squeezed blood orange juice! 😀

scallop crudo III
scallop crudo III

Scallop Crudo III

Ingredients:

7 thinly sliced English cucumber circles
1 large sea scallop, tough muscle removed and discarded, thinly sliced
5 thinly sliced red onion, soaked in cold water, squeezed out the liquid prior to using
Meat from 1-2 cooked Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia), depending on your preference
Several small pinches of dried lime, lemon, blood orange zest
Several small pinches of finely chopped fresh cilantro
Several small pinches of dried red hot chili peppers
A very small pinch of sea salt
A drizzle of freshly squeezed blood orange juice
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Use your imagination and creativity to arrange the ingredients or as per photo. Arrange the cucumber slices in a circle on a plate. Arrange the slices of scallop between the cucumber slices. Use the ends of the scallop slices for the center to add height. Arrange the onion around the center piece. Scatter the crab meat, zest, cilantro, peppers and sea salt on top. Lastly drizzle the entire plate with juice and oil.

Scallop Crudo II

Just one large scallop is enough to create a beautiful and delicious appetizer that will make your family and friends craving for more! Here is another scallop crudo. This time I added a tiny pinch of sea salt scattered over the outer edges of the scallop slices and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

If you would like to have some fresh-off-the-boat fresh sea scallops you can visit Rimrack Fish to inquire about their next scallop season! You may contact Enna Chocolate to purchase your chocolate nibs and other tasty chocolate treats from around the world!

scallop crudo II
Scallop Crudo II

Ingredients:

1 large sea scallop, tough muscle removed and discarded, sliced thinly
12 thinly sliced red onion, soaked in cold water and squeezed out the liquid prior to using
Meat from 1-2 cooked Salted Green Crab (Ba Khia), depending on your preference
A large pinch of finely pinched fresh cilantro
A large pinch of unsweetened Peruvian chocolate nibs
Several small pinches of dried lime, lemon and blood orange zest
Several small pinches of dried chili peppers
A drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
A very small pinch of sea salt

Method:

Arrange the ingredients per photo or use your own creation and imagination. Place the slices of scallop and red onion on your dish. Arrange the salted crab meat, cilantro, chocolate nibs, citric zest and chili peppers. Drizzle lemon juice and oil over everything. Scatter the sea salt on the edges away from the salted crab meat.

Scallop Crudo

I enjoy eating raw scallops especially when they are harvested by my local fisherman, Mike Anderson of Rimrack Fish. The Italians have their version of raw seafood dish known as crudo. The ones that I ate in the past seemed to have some sort of oil added. Here I did not add any but you certainly can drizzle a little of your favorite oil on top for extra flavors.

scallop crudo

Scallop Crudo

Ingredients:

1 large scallop, tough muscle removed and discard, sliced thinly against the grain
Meat and roe from 1-2 cooked Salted Green Crab (Ba Khia), depending on how much you prefer
Several thinly slices of red onion, soaked in cold water and squeezed out the liquid
A large pinch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
A pinch of Peruvian chocolate nibs (from Enna Chocolate)
A small pinch of dried lime zest
A small pinch of dried lemon zest
A small pinch of dried blood orange zest
A small pinch of dried seaweed
A small pinch of dried chili peppers
Drizzle of freshly squeezed lime juice

Method:

Thinly slice the scallop against the grain and arrange them on a plate. Arrange the onion slices and salted green crab meat and roe on the plate. Add a large pinch of cilantro, chocolate nibs, and sprinkle on the crumbled citric zest, seaweed and chili peppers. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juice.

Helpful Hints:

*If you are interested in purchasing the Peruvivan chocolate nibs (unsweetened) please contact Enna Chocolate directly.
*If you are interested in purchasing scallops or squid from Rimrack Fish, please contact them directly. Unfortuately the scallop season has just ended as of this month (April 2019).

Friday, April 26, 2019

Scallop and Green Crab Caviar Ceviche

I love making and eating ceviche--mostly because it requires minimal to no cooking time and I can be as creative or not. I am a bit spoiled because I get fresh-off-the-boat sweet jumbo scallops from my local fisherman, Mike Anderson. When they are in season I purchase them, divide them up in smaller bags to freeze so I can enjoy them during the off season. These are the only ones that I always feel safe eating raw. Of course, do take caution when consuming anything raw or partially cooked. If you are going to eat raw seafood you may want to consult your health care provider first.

I have never made ceviche with green crab roe before. This one is special because I used the salted green crab roe or caviar. Since the caviar is already salty I omit adding extra salt. The result is colorful and delicious! Please check out my previous post on Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia).

If you are interested in purchasing fresh scallops from Mike Anderson and his family please visit their Facebook page, FV Rimrack. Sorry, the scallop season has just ended. However, squid season is next!

scallop and green crab caviar ceviche
Scallop and Green Crab Caviar Ceviche

Ingredients:

Caviar from 4-6 cooked Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia)
6 large sea scallops, tough muscles removed, diced into 4-6 pieces depending on size
About 4 segments of blood orange, cut each one into 2-3 pieces
About 10-12 thinly slices of red onion, squeezed out the water prior to using
About 10 fresh blueberries
About 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
About 1 tsp of chopped chili peppers (optional)
About 1 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
About 1 tsp chopped scallion (green parts only)
A pinch of lime zest, plus more for garnish
A pinch of lemon zest, plus more for garnish
A pinch of blood orange zest, plus more for garnish

Method:

Simmer the salted green crabs (use the amount depending on how much roe there are and your preference) for about 10 minutes. Drain them and let them cool completely. Remove the roe and save. Thinly slice the red onion and soak in cold water, squeeze out the water prior to using. Remove the white pith and membranes of a blood orange. Cut each segment into 2-3 pieces. Cut each scallop into 4-6 pieces depending on its size.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently mix. Garnish with extra zest if interested.


Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia)

Salted or fermented crabs, known as ba khía in Vietnamese, is a way to preserve a special type of small crabs found in muddy areas in the mangroves without the need of refrigeration. Ba khía is a popular food item in the Mekong Delta (the southern region of Vietnam) such as my former home town of Soc Trang. Because they are salty even just one crab can last a person several meals! If you have nothing else to eat except rice and ba khía you can probably survive on these two items for many months

Prior to eating these crabs there is a special preparation that my family uses. We take the fermented crab crabs apart by removing and discarding the carapaces, gills, and aprons. We wash them in warm water several times and break each crab body into 4-6 sections. We then mix the prepared crabs with lime juice, garlic, chili peppers and sugar. This seasoned ba khía lasts weeks in the refrigerator. According to my father if you use vinegar instead of lime juice you can keep it longer. Since it is very salty I eat only a tiny fraction of the crab, usually 2-3 legs with about 1/8 to 1/4 of the body with lots of steamed rice.

salted green crabs (ba khia)
Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khía)

Ingredients:


4 cups water
1/2 cup sea salt
10 green crabs (preferably females)
1/2 cup rice wine (optional)

Method:

Boil the water and add sea salt, stir until the salt dissolves. Let the liquid cool completely. Wash the crabs well and let them drain. Place the crabs in a glass or ceramic jar. Pour the cooled salted liquid over the crabs. May add rice wine if using. May use a small glass or ceramic plate to keep the crabs submerged in the liquid. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated up to 2 months. The crabs will be salty and ready to eat in 5 days.

Helpful Hints:

*My father advises adding rice wine (such as sake) to the batch for extra fragrance.
*The uncooked salted crab meat should taste salty with a gelatinous consistency. The salted green crab meat may slowly dissolve to nothing if you keep them longer than 2-3 months.
*I prefer to ferment female crabs as I can use them in more dishes. 
*Use only freshly caught crabs as they have more meat.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Coconut Clam Chowder

This chowder is inspired by Chef Raj, co-owner of the Tulsi Indian Restaurant in Kittery and Tulsi North Indian Restaurant in Wells, Maine. My husband and I met him one evening at the Kittery location. When he speaks about cooking and eating you can imagine that he will serve you only high quality and flavorful foods--the kind that will certainly wake your senses! He hailed from a coastal region near Mumbai, India and eventually made his way to a small coastal town in Maine. In his former home village, some people would roast a coconut to make a seafood soup. I don't have access to whole coconuts and roasting would take some extra time which I lack. For simplicity my soup is made from canned coconut milk and already ground spices...perhaps not the best ingredients but they will have to do for now!

The crabs came from Dr. Bradt who purchased them from Maine fisherman, Everett Leach. The clams came from my local market. You may shuck the clams while they are fresh. However, I find that steaming them for just 5 minutes makes for a convenient and easy job to remove the clam meat and save the broth. I purposely saved the washed cilantro stems and roots in the freezer for these types of soups or stews.

Thank you Chef Raj, Dr. Bradt and Everett for this simple but tasty chowder!

If you are in Kittery or Wells, Maine and are hungry for some delicious Indian food you may want to check out these restaurants!  
http://www.tulsiindianrestaurant.com/
https://www.tulsinorth.com/

coconut clam chowder
Coconut Clam Chowder

Ingredients:

About 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp neutral oil (such as vegetable)
1/3 C chopped white or yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled, grated or minced
1 large potato, peeled, diced
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Madras curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
4 1/2 C Green Crab Stock For Chowders (see recipe below)
3 1/2 C Clam Stock (see recipe below)
1 can (13.6 oz or 403 mL) unsweetened coconut milk
About 2 Tbsp dried seaweed, cut and rinsed
1 1/2 C (or 7 1/8 oz) chopped steamer clams
2 Tbsp chopped fresh scallions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chicken stock powder

Method:

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until the onion is soft. Add garlic,  potato, cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry and cayenne powder. Saute about 3-4 minutes to blend the spices and to help soften the potato. Add green crab stock and clam stock. Cook about 10-15 minutes or until the potato pieces are soft. Shake the coconut milk to blend and pour it through a strainer into the pot (to prevent any lumps). Add seaweed. Turn heat to high and once the liquid starts to boil turn the heat down to medium and let it boil for about a minute. Turn heat down to a simmer and add clams, scallions, cilantro and season with fish sauce and chicken stock powder. Turn heat to low once the clams are thoroughly heated. Serve hot with crusty bread. May add extra cayenne or freshly ground white pepper if interested.

Helpful Hints:

*You may omit the cayenne powder if you prefer non-spicy.
*It is best to buy small quantity of ground spices as they do not have a long shelf life.
*2 1/2 pounds of steamer clams yield about 7 1/8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) of clam meat.

green crab stock for chowder
Green Crab Stock For Chowders (makes about 4 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:

15 prepared green crabs
6 C water
3 young kelps (dried or fresh)
About 10 cilantro stems and 2 cilantro roots
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled, quartered or diced
3-4 slices of ginger, bruised
2 garlic cloves, smashed

Method:

Prepare each crab by removing and discarding the carapace, apron, and gills. Scrub the crabs in a little salt and rinse in cold water, let them drain. Crush the crabs (the finer the crabs are crushed the more flavors the result). Place the crab in a pot and add water, kelp, cilantro stems, cilantro roots, onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the heat to high. Once the liquid starts to boil turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain and save the liquid for cooking.

steamer clams
Clam Stock (makes about 3 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:

About 2 1/2 lbs fresh steamer clams
2 C water

Method:

Soak the clams while you scrub them. Rinse them in cold water and drain. Remove and discard any broken or dead clams. The dead ones will have an unpleasant smell. Cover the pot and steam the clams in 2 cups of water for about 5 minutes or when the clams just open up. Turn off heat and remove the lid. Once the clams are cooled remove and discard the skin on the neck and the siphon tips. Rinse the clams in its stock. Strain and save the clean liquid. Chop the meat and reserve.

Charcuterie Board

Recently I made a charcuterie board for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and people seemed to like it so I am making another board using similar in...