Monday, August 12, 2019

How to Dry Sea Vegetables at Home

How to Dry Sea Vegetables at Home

How do you dry sea vegetables at home without a dehydrator? The process is quite simple. I prefer to spend time initially to clean the sea vegetables to decrease cleaning time later.

I normally wash each strand by running my fingers over it to remove any sand, roots, snails or other ocean debris. After this wash them in cold water several times. You can tie or clip (such as paper clips or clothespins) the end of each strand onto a stick or hanger. It is best that they don't touch but if they do it doesn't matter; they will just take a little longer to dry. You can hang the strands inside or outside your home. In order to eliminate the ocean briny smell from your own home you may prefer to hang them in a garage or outside preferably protected under an umbrella or even a roof. After 1 day of drying in the air and wind you may then bring them inside to hang to complete your drying process. If they are not completely dry the next day you may move them outside to dry another day. Avoid leaving them outside at night since some of the moisture from the air will absorb back into the vegetables. Another great place to dry anything is inside the car. My husband discovered this when he dried self-harvested coffee beans on Maui many years ago! I would let the air and wind partially dry the vegetables until there is no longer any liquid dripping from them then move them into the car to dry. This will prevent your car from having a strong ocean smell. During the winter months the air inside the house tends to be very dry making the drying process easy and quick. During the summer months the humidity level tends to be high. However, if you have an air conditioner and it is on then it will help keep the vegetables dry. Once they are completely dry place them in a glass jar with a piece of desiccant to help remove any extra moisture. I saved the small desiccant pouches from food packages--a great way to recycle them for my sea vegetables!

baby sugar kelp
drying sugar kelp on a hanger under an umbrella
dried sugar kelp

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Green Crab News

There has been a few green crab news since the release of The Green Crab Cookbook! Thank you!

The Block Island Times:
Green Crabs: Bad for the pond, good for the palate 

Edible Boston:
From Menace to Moeche 

Edible South Shore:
Pinching Back: The Battle Agaist Invasive Crabs
Roger Warner's Simple Green Crab Stock

The Boston Globe:
Green crabs are wreaking havoc on our coastal habitat. So let's eat them.

The New York Times:
Meet a New Crab to Eat












Cabbage and Crab Salad

cabbage and crab salad
Recently I was invited by friends to visit their lake house. One of them asked if I could cook something with green crabs. At first I thought she was just teasing. However, when I learned she was serious I made this dish. This salad is simple, light and you can feed a small crowd. I added store-purchased rotisserie chicken for flavors, texture and protein. You can add as many or as few fried green crabs. The choice is yours and when you serve you can add as many green crabs you prefer for each serving. Most of the green crabs in this dish were softies (soft-shells) and the rest were smaller semi-softies (in between soft and hard). I prepared the crabs, dipped them in a whisked egg and dredged them in seasoned corn flour for a little thicker coating. There were about 8 people who got a taste of this salad and they all enjoyed it.

For the sauce you can adjust the seasoning according to your taste--add extra lime juice if you prefer more acidic, fish sauce if you prefer saltier and sugar if you want it sweeter. You can adjust the seasoned flour to your taste. You can taste the flour after you shift or mix everything. The best way is to fry a small crab with the flour and have a taste. 

The "spicy salad mix" migrogreens (broccoli, kale, kohrabi, arugula, cabbage, and mustard) came from Barker's Farm (my local farm). The fresh edible flowers came from my parents' garden and the romaine lettuce came from my neighbors' (Jim and Karen) garden.

Cabbage and Crab Salad

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, removed meat and shredded to bite size
About 1 1/2 lb green cabbage, finely shredded
A few romaine lettuce leaves, cut into bite size
1 medium sized carrot, peeled and shredded or julienned
A small handful of assorted herbs (such as cilantro, mint, perilla, Chinese chives, Thai basil or your preference), hand torn or roughly sliced
1 container (about 4 oz) of spicy sald mix microgreens
Vietnamese Seasoned Fish Sauce to taste
About 20 small to medium sized Fried Soft-Shell Green Crabs
Edible flowers of your choice, garnish (optional)

Method:

Gently mix chicken, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, herbs, migrogreens, and season with the sauce. Scatter the fried crabs over the salad and garnish with flowers.

Sunrise Lake, NH (2019)
photo courtesy of my husband, Paul
Since our motor vehicle accident back in September 2018 I am still recovering. The use of my arms and left wrist are limited and I hope in time and with daily physical therapy I will have full use of them again. I was able to use a stand up paddleboard when I visited my friends' lake house and that is a huge accomplishment in the last 11 months! What I learned from all these months of pain and limitation of my body is to have an optimistic attitude--it makes a huge difference in my recuperation.

Green Crab Ice Cream

The best part about making my own ice cream is that I can control the amount of sugar that goes in it and I can add just about anything that...