Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Entries in shellfish (5)


Legit Paella, with Chicken, Shrimp, and Sausage

In between law school applications, the Jewish High Holy Days, preparations for my travels to the Yucatan, and the regular ebb and flow of work -- I've still been finding a little time here and there to engage in kitchen adventures.

Among the recent dishes I've whipped up is a recurring favorite of mine: My chicken, shrimp, and turkey sausage paella (recipe below)! And I'm excited to show you the awesome pictures I took, like this one:



See how nice I made it look? Just so you know, it was really hard to make the shrimp stand up. But I did it for you, my loyal readers. I even artistically splashed some chipotle hot sauce on the plate!
Though I live by the maxim that anyone can cook any dish with the right preparation, ingredients, and patience, I'll readily admit that paella is a challenge. It's time and recipe intensive, entails juggling multiple prep stations and multiple burners-worth of ingredients, and makes for a LOT of dirty dishes.

Click to read more ...


Mini-Post: Super Seafood Pizza

I'll keep it super quick. As part of the Triumphant Return of my boss, she elected to take us all out for a tasty lunch at our friendly neighborhood and strangely-punctuated upscale trendy restaurant, Bar-Cöde on L St. NW. (See why we celebrate her return?) 

I've eaten here three times, but my experience last Friday was by a significant margin the best of the three -- in large part due to this pizza stuffed chok-a-blok with seafood. 


The best part was that each shellfish element of this seafood smörgåsbord was well cooked in its own right: the giant mussels had garlicky tomato sauce; the shrimps were clearly pan seared in a little garlic, butter and wine; the calamari were fried spicy and tender (not at all rubbery); and the little octopi were peppery and delicious.

Click to read more ...


Seriously, People, Don't Trust Cafeteria Lobster

Lobster Bib.

I'm going to try hard to get through this post without cursing.

Seriously, people, don't trust cafeteria lobster.

Just...don't. So, for example, if you show up to the cafeteria at the National Education Association and see they're serving a lobster lunch for $12.95, just walk away.

Click to read more ...


Crab Cakes: A Quest Ended before it Began

Today I am going to Annapolis, driving deep into uncharted Mary-land to see what's up in what I've heard is a pretty cool place.

Under any, ANY, other circumstances, I would during this trip stop at various locations, taste-testing crab cakes, looking for the ultimate in near-DC crab cake perfection.

Too bad I found it already. That is to say, several weeks ago, and then again last night, I was the fortunate recipient, one of a Chosen Few, to enjoy crab cakes the likes of which my poor New England imagination could not quite grasp. They were just one dish of several -- but clearly the brazen highlight -- of the meal so graciously served to me aboard the U.S.S. Sequoia, the erstwhile Presidential yacht, by its President and owner, Gary Silversmith. And if the notion of a cruise aboard a floating, sailing Presidential historical landmark doesn't excite you as it does me (and it does!), these crab cakes should.

But allow me to be precise: there is nothing cake-y about these treats -- in fact, the restaurant from whence they come, Jerry's Seafood in Bowie, MD, calls them "crab bombs." The ingredients, if I'm not mistaken, are: Epic lumps of crab meat, butter, mayo and Old Bay seasoning. I could be wrong, but I'm not. The bombs fall to pieces as you take fork to them (it took a couple tries to get one that looked fully cohesive -- attempts that constituted real hardship, to be sure). The meat is almost creamy, so tender and smooth as to melt in your mouth, with the requisite and exceptional kick provided by the traditional Old Bay (or homegrown equivalent).

These are just TOO GOOD. It's as though the Patriots had won the Super Bowl in 2007 in addition to winning every other game that season -- I would have needed to just stop watching football, because, let's face it: nothing else could possibly compare.

Fortunately for my exploration of Mid-Atlantic cuisine, I have a stronger heart and a firmer will when it comes to crab cakes. We're going to MD. I'll try not to compare everything I eat to crab bombs -- I'll try.


Interlude: Lobster, and Make Mine a Moxie

Why yes, that is the best-looking lobster roll ever. Good eye, good eye. Since you asked, I'll also tell you it is the best-tasting lobster roll I've ever had. Here's another picture (please excuse the bizarre lighting):

Now, I won't pretend to have had them all, but as a Mainer born and bred, weaned on claw meat and tested on hard-shells, I know a thing or two about a good lobster roll. I'm sure there are many opinions; apparently the oldest form is lumps of meat on a toasted hotdog bun with melted butter and maybe some lettuce.

As you can see, I think we have flexibility, but the guiding principle is simple: the more meat and the bigger the chunks, the better. See, some places (never in Maine; there'd be a lynch mob of tourist regulars) attempt to give you something resembling a lobster puree in mayo on some bread. This is an abomination.

What my family has found in Anania's Variety Store lobster rolls is close to perfection. They're enormous; for the price of one beer in D.C. you'll get a whole lobster's worth of meat, barely chopped, with just a touch of mayo and a twist of lemon -- as close to pure, unadulterated lobster as I think I can handle (this is actually a small!). I love the addition of tomato (mostly for texture), the fresh sub bun, and salt and pepper, too. On top of that, Anania's adds the truly sweet meat that is a bit harder to find for the unschooled: the leg meat on the interior of the body and inside the arms. The pieces are smaller, but the flavor is bounds more intense than that found in the tail or claw. Far and away the best all-purpose lobster roll I've ever had. The chips are kettle cooked sea salt and cracked pepper, sharp and spicy.

Now for the drink: Moxie. Moxie is my favorite soda. It is a type of root beer, one made from the gentian root, and America's oldest, dating from 1884. Back then, it was marketed thusly:

Moxie and has proved itself to be the only harmless nerve food known that can recover brain and nervous exhaustion; loss of manhood, imbecility, and helplessness. It has recovered paralysis, softening of the brain, locomotor ataxia, and insanity when caused by nervous exhaustion. It gives a durable solid strength, makes you eat voraciously; takes away the tired, sleepy, listless feeling like magic, removes fatigue from mental and physical overwork at once, will not interfere with action of vegetable medicines.

As I seek to avoid "loss of manhood, imbecility, and helplessness" while simultaneously encouraging voracious eating, this is clearly the dirnk for me. While found now primarily in Maine and a few other locales in New England, it was once an extremely popular national beverage, touted as "Magic" by spokesmen such as Ted Williams. Some find it too bitter, but they're wrong. Trust Hungry Sam on this one.

Next time, I'll ACTUALLY finish my rundown of the best meals of the last month (which included this, but this one really deserve its own post).