A Pair Of Gourmands

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Crab for Dinner!

If you ever wanted to eat fresh crab one day, now is the time! The Queen Charlotte Island Crab has reached peak flavor. I felt like making something special, so last weekend I went to Hooked on Seafood and purchased a small live crab for $18.

The owners of the fish store, nice people, took the time to clean my crab and put it in a bag on ice so it would stay cold while I finished my shopping on Saturday. On Sunday night, I took a medium size pot, added 1 inch of tap water, one chopped up lemon and placed a small upside down pie plate or grid at the bottom. The idea is to cook the crab while making sure that it won’t sit in the water but get steamed instead. I cooked it for 4 ½ - 5 minutes to perfection. I served it with a really easily made butter.

Tarragon Lemon Garlic Butter
Raw chopped garlic
Chopped parsley
Fresh tarragon
Squeeze in half a lemon
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Just melt everything about one hour before you need it, and all the flavor will explode and create a really tasty dipping sauce.

This appetizer was one of the easiest thing to do, the house did not even have time to smell fishy and the taste was unbelievably sweet due to the current ocean cold waters.

Although we live far from the coast, good quality fish and seafood are available in Kelowna. You still have time to experience this delicacy has this weather should last for a few more months. Go visit Hooked on Seafood across from London Drugs, and ask the owners to fish you out a crab for your next special dinner. You won’t regret it!

Simple to cook, not messy and very tasty, just the way I like to eat!

I remember the first time I tasted crab – it was on the Oregon Coast, while on a family camping holiday. I was about 13. Although crab was certainly a fancy, grown-up food, I was not especially keen to have it for dinner - it looked like more work than fun to me! Little did I know that simple campfire dinner would be one of the experiences that started me on the path to being a foodie.

My parents were the kind of people who thought their kids should try everything possible. You didn’t have to sit at the table until you finished your parsnips, but you had to give them a try. As a result, my brother and I became fans of such foods as olives, papaya, and water chestnuts at a very tender age. Our tastebuds traveled the world, and we were lucky enough to be brought along with Mom and Dad on many exotic grocery trips and restaurant outings. So, by the time crab was suggested as a cool thing to eat while camping on the beach, we were used to the idea that dinner wasn’t always meat and potatoes!

All it took was the little camping frypan and some water, and my Mom was steaming those crabs on one side of the fire while the garlic butter melted over on the other side. We had fresh baguette (also pretty new in those days – this was over 20 years ago now!) and I think just a salad with it. Needless to say, the “work” I had thought it would be turned into fun quickly as we all cracked the shells with the hammer brought out of my Dad’s auto tool kit (why he had a hammer in there is still a mystery!) Bits of shell flew from under the tea towel, and drips of butter dropped on the picnic table as we slurped up mouthfuls of crab. The salty ocean breeze and the view over the dunes to the Pacific Ocean made the occasion a perfect seaside dinner. I have to note, however, that what struck me even then was that this fantastic experience was not an expensive or complicated one. I was confident that I could recreate the feeling I had on that beach, and I was excited that food could be this much fun.

Over the years, I have had all kinds of food memories – some of them away in foreign places, but some of them at home too – and when I repeat a favorite like crab, it always makes me smile. I can still smell that salty breeze, and I always get that warm feeling in my soul that comes from sharing good food with loved ones.

Chef Martin’s Tip 3:

Cutting boards!

Good cutting boards are an essential part to any good kitchen.

One: the built in cutting boards that cannot be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher once in while are no good, just use them as decorative pieces.

Two: all cutting surfaces should be soft enough for your knives to sink in a little. White fiberglass is great, wood is still good to use, and the plastic thin ones that bend, are also ok.

Three: any serious cook should have a minimum of 2-4 cutting boards, preferably in different areas of your kitchen. Colors are great, so you can have red for meat, green for vegetables and blue or white for fish and seafood.

Four: bleach your board once in a week with a solution of water and bleach 50/50. A white colored board is easier to keep clean as you can see stain happening with time.

Five: cross contamination is very common in households, and often the cause of a short visit to the emergency hospital in the middle of the night. I will spare you the detailed side effects, but let’s just say it’s ugly and will motivate you to wash your board the next time around.
To avoid these type of issues, if you start by working raw poultry, beef, pork, fish or seafood on your board. Make sure that you clean it extremely well with a bleach solution before using it again for your vegetables or anything else. See this link for more info

No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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