Soft Shell Crab Piccata Plus How To Clean Soft Shell Crabs

May 17, 2014
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Friends, we’re now in soft shell crab season, which typically runs late April through September. The season seems to have started late this year, but with the weird weather all over the country, that’s not surprising.

Soft Shell Crab Primer:

Just what are soft shell crabs you ask? Soft shells are Blue Crabs which have molted their hard shell to grow a larger one. This phase only lasts a few days until the new shell hardens. During the “soft shell” phase the entire crab can be eaten, “shell” and all. Blue Crabs, with their blue tinged claws (hence the name), are found on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and are very popular in Maryland. In the soft shell phase they are most commonly fried, sautéed or tempura battered.If possible, buy soft shell crabs still alive. If you are only able to find ones which have been cleaned, then make sure …

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Ahi Tuna Crudo with Sweet Soy, Wasabi and Cucumber

May 10, 2014
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Since the first human caught a fish and realized it was edible, people have had to figure out how to eat it now and how preserve the delicate flesh for eating later.  Smoking, drying, or curing (and sometimes all three) were used to by migrating tribes as a means to carry their bounty with them.  Several ways of eating raw fish in the moment also evolved; sushi, sashimi, ceviche, carpaccio, and crudos are just a few.  Whether a simple sashimi with a splash of soy sauce or a classic ceviche covered in citrus juice, cooks always strive to make it different and better.  Two methods, gravlax and crudo, give us options at opposite ends of the spectrum for enjoying raw fish at its finest.

Crudo’s origins lay with the fishermen of the Mediterranean who would often eat their catch fresh out of the sea with nothing more than a drizzle …

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How To Make Veal Stock

May 3, 2014
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In a previous post featured Stocks 101, all about the ease, affordability and impact of making a great stock from scratch. Since we’ve already covered making a chicken stock, the next stock in your repertoire should be a beef or veal stock.

Everyone should make a true veal stock at least once to experience the wonder of the flavor it imparts to a dish. Veal stock is typically used as the base for French onion soup and in meat sauces. Cook book author and food writer Michael Ruhlman says that veal stock has the “qualities of humility and generosity—it brings out and expands other flavors without calling attention to itself” and this is true. Take a small amount of veal stock demi-glace, swirl it with butter, and you have an instant sauce for homemade pasta. Add shallots to that swirl and it’s perfect over a grilled steak. Veal …

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Summer Garden 2014-What’s Growing?

April 29, 2014
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Every year when I plant a garden I have grand hopes and dreams for all the sweet and juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil, earthy eggplant I envision will come from my labors. I see myself traipsing down to the perfectly tended raised beds with a sun hat on, lovely basket in hand, gathering my urban farm fresh produce and making delicious, healthy meals a la Martha Stewart.

Don’t you?

(cue the movie scratch-screech sound)

Reality is often somewhat different, isn’t it?



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This year when preparing the beds for planting I forgot the sun hat and got sunburned. Two of my big gardening tools broke apart in my hands as I was working, the hoe and the pitchfork, making the mixing of soils extremely back-breaking work. Often those lovely tomatoes I anticipate shrivel, blacken and die on the vine before harvest due to blossom end rot. Bugs and raccoons destroy plants before …

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Stocks 101-All About Home Made Meat, Fish and Vegetable Stocks and Broth

April 27, 2014
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Bones. Vegetables. Herbs. Water.

Combine them all, add fire, and you have a magic elixir which can breathe life into a sauce, become the base for a delicate soup or hearty stew, or poach a fish filet to perfection.

Many people don’t realize how easy it is to make a flavorful stock. Once you make stock at home, you may never buy those cans or boxes again. Homemade stock is usually healthier too because commercially made stocks tend to be very high in sodium, while stocks made at home can be tailored to the cook’s preference for salt and fat content. Consider not adding any salt at all. Instead, add salt to the recipe using the stock as needed. Let meat and chicken stocks chill and when the fat rises to the top it solidifies and can be easily skimmed off.

Besides being healthier, homemade stock is often one of …

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Turkey Chili with Kale and White Beans

April 5, 2014
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Is it chili?

Is it soup?

I really don’t know, but whatever it is, it’s so good that when I recently made an extra large batch for a dinner party hoping for leftovers for the next week’s lunches, I was left with nothing but a single bowl.

I came across this recipe at the beginning of the year while scouring Pinterest for “healthy” meals to make after the post holiday binge and used it as inspiration for this dish. While my version is different, and soupier (is that even a word?) than the original, it’s still incredibly healthy and delicious and it quickly became a family favorite.  I also chose to add kale to the recipe because frankly, most of us don’t get enough of the good stuff. Plus, I like the texture and the slightly bitter flavor it adds. This chili/soup is fresh, clean and flavorful and I hope

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