Sunday, June 27, 2010

Homemade crab melts

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S's dad showed us how to make this beautiful crab melt on baguette.

To prepare the building blocks, we sauteed some spinach, sliced onions and minced garlic in a frying pan on the stovetop, and added a pinch of dried crab stock. We cut the baguette into wide slices and cut the slices in half for open-faced sandwiches. We took the meat from three big frozen crab legs and defrosted it in the microwave. Lastly, we thickly sliced some Swiss cheese.

To build the sandwich, we first added a layer of bruschetta topping (garlic and tomato mixture) from a jar. Then we added a layer of spinach mixture, then the crab meat and lastly the cheese.

We toasted the sandwiches in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese was bubbly and melted. It was so good and I loved the taste of the real crab we used. The crab was from T&T, and we have one of those in Ottawa now too!

Step one: Add bruschetta topping and spinach mixture.

Step two: Add the crab meat.

Step three: Top with a big thick slice of Swiss cheese before popping in the oven.

Friday, June 18, 2010

How to store clams in a clam bath

Hello everyone, I'm sorry that I have not blogged very much of late. S and I have been travelling and I haven't been near a computer that much. I am going to make it up to you with lots of posts :)

We are in Calgary right now and I learned something very interesting today about how to store live clams. S's dad, who is quite an accomplished cook, has taught us a simple way to keep live clams happy and healthy for many days at a time. We will no longer worry about cooking clams the same day we buy them.

You make a salt solution that approximates the salinity of the ocean at 3.2 per cent and keep the clams in it at room temperature. We put five teaspoons (32 g) of salt in 1 litre of water, mixed it up really well and then put that in a big plastic bowl on the kitchen counter. Then we took our clams (just bought that afternoon from T&T), rinsed them in the sink with fresh water, and put them into the salt water. This amount just covered our batch of 45 or so clams.

Then S's dad pulled out a very rusty vegetable peeler and stuck it in with the clams. The clams don't like the iron and open up and squirt out their sand in protest! So stick something rusty in there about three hours before you want to cook your clams so that they expel their sand.

Our clams opened up right away and stuck out their snouts. Then there was a symphony of squirting clams! One got a good trajectory going and squirted the kitchen window and its curtain. We had to cover the bowl with cellophane to keep things under control.

If you intend to keep your clams overnight, just remember to put the rusty implement in a few hours before you eat the clams. You don't want your clams unhappy for longer than they need to be! Love your seafood and it will love you back in the dish that you create with it. Tonight we are making linguine with clams for S's Dad, who loves seafood.

Have a nice dinner tonight everyone :)

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