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Crab Clique, Issue #001 Happy Thanksgiving!
November 23, 2011
Crab Clique Issue #1
Welcome to Crab Clique! First of all, we want to express our surprize and excitement to see how many Crab Lover's have signed up for our newsletter! To be honest, we weren't expecting so many so fast, but you sure kicked us into action and we have a lot of excitings planned in the making of these issues. Thank you for your interest and we will do our best not to let you down!
Inside these issues of Crab Clique, as promised throughout our www.Crab-O-Licious.com website, we will bring you any important crab fishing news that may cry for some attention. If this happens, like any legislature stuff that can help our commercial fisherman, we'll also include how you may be able to help.
Also, as promised, we will run a contest now and then. Give a bit of time to think up one and we'll be glad to give out prizes for that to you, our loyal crab fans!
Next, we'll, as promised, be answering all the crab chat questions people have. Instead of answering them on the website, we will now be answering them here. We will also be answering questions about boiling, cooking, and cleaning crab as well. Why? Because a lot of times, the questions and answers don't serve long enough to make whole pages and the search engines have been frowning upon us. We hate to see any questions get unanswered because of this, so we are excited to be able to use this tool of a newsletter to answer each and every one of them, now.
So, with this said, if there are any readers here who have asked questions and haven't gotten the answers, please, do use the forms provided on the website and we'll make sure they get answered here on Crab Clique!
For general questions about crab or a crab fishing experience, ask them, here, on Crab Chat.
For questions about boiling crab, ask them, here, on How to Boil Crab.
And, for questions about How to Freeze Crab ask them, here.
For questions about cooking crab or crab legs, ask them here, on How to Cook Crab Legs.
And last, but certainly, not least, we will be sharing a new crab recipe with you that you won't find on the site! Why? Because we like you! Enjoy Crab Clique!
Your Questions Answered About CrabJoyce Vertner from Canby, Oregon asked-
"If I want to freeze the crab whole, do I clean it first or freeze it and clean it when I unthaw it?"
Our advice-"Either way is fine. After boiling whole crabs, there is then an unwritten rule that is totally up the one/one's that are caring for the crabs. You can certainly freeze them whole. You'll just want to cool them down before packaging them and placing them in the freezer. Cleaning them, first, is a pro in many crabbers eyes as you will have all that work done beforehand and will also spare room in the freezer. Personally, we end up with quite a bit of crab in a season, so we like the variety ourselves. We will freeze some whole as we personally feel that the crab legs taste fresher if we have frozen them whole with all the natural crab butters and flavors. May just be us, but that's one reason we do freeze whole crabs. However, we also like the freedom and convience of having crab legs all cleaned and ready to steam! Therefore, we will clean the boiled whole crabs and then freeze them. And, last but not least, we will boil them, clean them and spend the time also picking the meat out and freezing just the meat. With all this, it is really up to you. How you would like to go about it. There are no set rules.
Justin asked-"How long can a cooked crab cake sit out before going bad?"
Our Advice-Not long! Anything over the time it takes to get to room temperature and you're pushing safety to the extreme! Please! Don't push it!
AJ from Dixon, CA-"My husband caught several crabs on a fishing trip this last week (Wed - now Sun). He boiled the crab that night and placed into fridge. I am breaking them open today and taking out the meat. However, the meat now has a green tinged color. Is it okay to eat or should I just throw away all the crab?" ack meat but is the rest of it still safe to eat?"
Our advice-Hold on! That green tinted color could very well be from the boiling of its innerds! Crabs, especially Dungeness Crabs, have that coloring, but while you are cleaning the crabs and rinsing them under cool running water you will find that most of that goes away and what is left is just a coloring from it. It's not bad.
CR Davis-"How long can one keep frozen crab cakes in the freezer?"
Our advice-That really depends on how well you prepared and packaged them. If you packaged them properly, like, vacuumed sealed them, then we would feel comfortable keeping such crab cakes frozen in our freezer for 6-9 months without a thought of worry. Now, if you just put them in a zip lock bag and squeezed the air out, I would say a little less time. Try and get them ate up within 6 months.
Kayleigh from Alabama-"I went to Felixs and got crab cakes and left the restaurant with two left over crab cakes at about 8:30. I woke up in the middle of the night (about 2 am) and realized I never put them in the fridge. So I put them in ASAP, but are they still safe to eat?"
Our advice-I, honestly, wouldn't take my chances. Seriously, if they were SO good and I spent a pretty dime for them, I may be tempted to not worry. Since I don't know the temperature/environment of your home/room I wouldn't take any chances leaving them out that long. Food, not just crab, after being cooked and set out in warm temp's tend to start going bad immediately. They started a going bac process even before you left the restaurant, I'm sorry to say. So leaving them on your counter or in a hot car or whatever, I just wouldn't take the chance.
NW White-"I brought some cooked blue shell crabs on Thursday but was too sick to eat any. So I put them in the refridgerator. It is now Monday are they safe to eat, or should they be thrown out?"
Our advice- I don't see why they would be bad? Normal leftovers can be kept safe in the fridge for 3-5 days, no problem!
Anna from SC- "I have ordered Snow Crab Legs for years and have never encountered ones that have a strong ammonia smell, until tonight. I was in a local seafood restaurant and ordered the steamed snow crab. When they arrived they had a very strong ammonia smell, especially in the bodies. I sent them back and they brought me another order. The same issue happened again, so I did not eat them. What does this smell mean in snow crab legs? Thanks."
Our reply- Hi, Anna! The ammonia smell is because the snow crabs were aged. We're still not in full understanding of the details about it, but we have been told by credible ol' crabbers that it is because they are "aged" crabs and if you can get by or around the smell they are fine and safe to eat. You aren't eating bad crabs. When we get aged crabs, we use a little bit more Crab Boil and add some minced onions and such to our boiling pot. That seems to help a lot. If you encounter this again in a restaurant, perhaps they could bring you some extra lemon wedges or onions you could rub on them before cracking them open that might help.
Elegant Crab BisqueShellfish (Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library)
With the holidays just around the bend, we thought we would share one of our favorite elegant crab soup recipes. I know we have Crab Bisque on Crab-O-Licious.com, but not this version. It's truely a remarkable recipe that we thought would make an elegant statement at your holiday party if you so decide to use it.
2 Whole Crabs-cracked, cleaned and remove the meat
Clean and crack the crab and remove the meat from the body and legs and set aside. Remove the meat from each large claw in a single piece, slice and set aside for garnish. Using heavy shears, cut the shells into small pieces and set aside.
In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot, celery and tarragon and saute', stirring, until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the crab shells, tomatoes, bay leaf, bell pepper and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the fish stock or clam juice and water. Place one-third of the stock mixture and about one-third of the shell mixture in a blender. Pulse a few times until the shells break up. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Pour the contents of the blender through the sieve. Repeat with the remaining stock and shell mixture in 2 more batches.
Transfer 2 cups of the strained mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until very tender for about 20 minutes.
Transfer the rice to a blender, add the remaining strained mixture and blend until very smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
Pour the puree' into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add the cream, lemon juice and salt and cracked pepper to taste. Strain again through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat. Add the reserved crab meat and stir well to heat through. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the reserved claw meat. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8
We know this takes a lot of time and "straining" steps, but after you make this and try it, it'll probably be your favorite Crab Bisque version! This is worthy to enjoy with a tall glass of champagne! Do write us and let us know how you liked it!
Well, that's it for our first issue of Crab Clique! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we are excited to get these out more often and work on bringing new issues and making them better and better.
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!
Your Crab-O-Licious.com family
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