North East Crab, Lobster, shellfish, Haddock, and Dried Seaweed
Amazingly fresh seafood from Stonington, Maine and Buxton Day Boat Fresh. Here is some general information on the available products.
General Peekytoe Crab Information
Welcome to the world of the peekytoe crab, where one man's trash is another man's treasure. This little crab is so beloved at Restaurant Daniel, Jean Georges, the French Laundry, Spago and other famous eating establishments that the chefs demand a product that has long been routinely discarded. In just a few years, the peekytoe, which weighs less than a pound, has been transformed from a throwaway byproduct of lobster fishing to a star in the culinary firmament. Peekytoe Crab: A Star Is Born; A bit player in Maine gets a name change, and a lead in Manhattan's top kitchens. By MARIAN BURROS Published: The New York Times August 19, 1998
East Coast Oysters
American oysters differ as much as American people, so that the Atlantic Coast inhabitants spend their childhood and adolescence floating free and unprotected with the tides, conceived far from their mothers and their fathers too by milt let loose in the water near the eggs, while the Western oysters lie within special brooding chambers of the maternal shell, inseminated and secure, until they are some two weeks old. The Easterners seem more daring. East Coast Oysters: A Guide To Origin, Flavor And How To Eat Them, Huffpost Taste; |
Have you ever seen “bouchot mussels” on a menu and wondered what exactly it means? Bouchot (French for “shellfish bed”) is a traditional aquaculture technique for mussels. It means that the mussel was grown on ropes strung from wooden poles in the sea. This results in grit and barnacle-free mussels with full meats and a cleaner flavor.
How to Boil and Eat Lobster
First consider the size of your pot for boiling the lobsters. An 8-quart pot will easily take one lobster, a 16-quart pot, 2 or 3 lobsters. If you are cooking a lot of lobsters you'll either need to cook them in stages or have more than one pot of water boiling.
If you value your fingers, keep the rubber bands holding the lobster claws closed on the lobsters. Only remove them after you finish cooking the lobsters.
1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil: Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt for every quart of water. The water should be salty like sea water (in fact you can use clean sea water if you have it). Bring the water to a rapid boil.
2 Lower the lobsters into the pot: Grasp the lobster by the body and lower it upside down and head first into the boiling water. Continue to add the live lobsters to the pot in this manner. Cover the pot.
3 Boil lobsters for 12 to 20 min, depending on size: Note the time at which the water comes to a boil again. From that point, boil the lobsters for 12-20 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the lobster. 12-15 minutes for 1 lb lobster, 15-20 minutes for a 1 1/2 pound lobster, 20-25 minutes for a 2-3 pound lobster. The lobsters should be a bright vivid red color when done.
Note that larger lobsters will turn bright red before they are completely finished cooking, so you do want to time your cooking, and not just go on color alone.
Unlike with fresh scallops or fish that you can eat raw (think sashimi), you don't want to eat raw or undercooked lobster. Translucent undercooked lobster meat really doesn't taste good. It needs to be opaque through and through. If you cook it too long, the meat will get rubbery, so keep an eye on the time.
4 Remove lobsters from pot to drain: Remove the lobsters from the pot with tongs and place on a plate to drain and cool.
How to Eat Lobster
Before you get started, you'll want to assemble some essentials. You'll need a nutcracker, a large bowl to hold the shells, a small dipping bowl for melted butter, and what's missing from the above photograph—a lot of napkins! Eating lobster is messy, you'll need them. There's a good reason they give diners plastic bibs at restaurants when serving lobster. You may also want to use some kitchen shears and nutpicks in addition to a nutcracker.
After the lobster comes out of the pot, let it cool for a few minutes, otherwise it will be too hot to handle.
Pull off the rubber bands from the claws, if they are still attached. Twist the claws away from the body at the joints that connect them to the body. Separate the knuckle from the claw.
Pull back the "jaw" of the claw until it breaks, but do it gently, so that the little bit of meat that is in the small part of the jaw stays attached to the rest of the meat (it's easier than trying to fish it out of the small shell).
Use a nut cracker to crack the main claw shell. Depending on the season and the size of your lobster, the shell may be easy or hard to crack with a nutcracker. If necessary you can take a mallet or hammer to it, but do it gently, just enough to break the shell without crushing the meat inside. Pull away the broken shell pieces and pull out the meat inside. Any white stuff attached to the meat is fat, which you can choose to eat or not. Dip into melted butter or not, and eat.
To extract the meat from the knuckles, use kitchen shears (if you have them) to cut the shell along its length. Pry open the shell where you made the cut and you can pull out all the knuckle meat in one piece. Alternately, you can crack each section of knuckle with a nutcracker and pull the meat out in chunks.
If you have a very large lobster, you can eat the legs. Get to the meat from the legs in a way similar to pulling off the “jaw” of the claw. Bend the joints of the legs the “wrong” way, which breaks them. You should have a piece of meat attached. Simply bite this off, leaving a thin piece of cartilage attached to the rest of the leg.
Now on to the lobster tail, where the biggest piece of meat lies. You'll need both hands to get the meat from the tail. Grip the lobster's body with one hand and the tail with the other. Bend the tail back away from the body to separate it from the body.
You will see one, and maybe two, odd things inside. You’ll see the greenish “tomalley,” which is the lobster’s liver. You can choose to eat it or not. Some people spread it on toast or add it to lobster soups or sauces. If the lobster is a female, you may also see the bright red “coral,” which is the roe of the lobster. You may also choose to eat this or not. The coral can be spread on toast as well, or used to add flavor to lobster bisque.
The tail will now look like a really big shrimp. Grab the flippers at the end of the tail and bend them backwards gently. If you do it right, you’ll get the meat from the inside of one or more flippers. This is uncommonly sweet meat, so don’t forget the morsels in the flippers! You can pry them out by working the little joints back and forth, or use shears to cut their thin shells.
With the flippers off the tail, you can now just put your finger through the small opening where the flippers were and push the tail meat out in one piece. If you have an exceptionally large lobster, use kitchen shears to cut a line down the underside of the tail to help remove the meat.
Before you eat the tail, pull the top of it off. This will reveal a digestive vein which you will likely want to remove, much like deveining a shrimp. It won't hurt you if you eat it, but it is the digestive tract of the lobster.
There is meat inside the body of the lobster, mostly right around where you pulled off the tail. For lobsters bigger than 2 pounds it is worth it to fish around for these extra morsels.
There you go! Now just dip in melted butter (or not) and eat. If you have crusty bread, it tastes great dipped in the lobster-infused butter as well.
Lobsters and Oysters are unique in that they can get oxygen from both the water and the air. Like most shellfish they can become exposed on the beach or rocks during low tide. The lobster has evolved so that it can survive outside the water until the tide returns. (Normally around 8-10 hours). If a lobster or Oyster is kept in cold damp area, it can survive for up to 48 hours. Do not put lobster in either fresh or seawater and keep refrigerated until cooked (within 12 hours of receipt).
Finnan Haddie – Scotland (Lightly Smoked Haddock)
This classic fish preparation yields one of the prized seafood products coming from the pristine waters surrounding Scotland in the North Atlantic. The town of Findon in Scotland is the origin of this great product and the name of the preparation comes from the local pronunciation of the town and the fish used to make it (Findon is called Finnan and haddock are called Haddie). The key to the excellent product is of course to begin with excellent fish and then for the brining and smoking process to be performed in as controlled a process as possible. Cold smoking is key. Once tasted, the unique flavor of Finnan Haddie is never forgotten. Finnan Haddie can be used on many occasions; such as for an appetizer, a gourmet breakfast, or for dinner. It is so very versatile and easy to prepare, and it keeps and serves well the next day. It can be combined with other seafoods, where the smoky flavor carries through and influences all the elements, such as in in a seafood pie or chowder. The most frequent method used to pre-cook smoked haddok before using in a recipe is to simmer very gently in milk.
Wild Atlantic Wakame Alaria esculenta
Wakame grows along the low tide line of exposed ledges in areas with heavy surf, and is one of the more difficult seaweeds to harvest, as it requires working directly in the midst of incoming waves. Care is taken to harvest only the young first-year plants, allowing the older plants to remain and continue producing spores, ensuring continued regeneration of the population and future harvests.
Wakame can be sautéed alone or with other vegetables, cooked, chilled, and added to salads, or cut in its dry form and added to soups and stews. It pairs well with leeks, scallions, asparagus, kale, spinach, potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, tofu, tempeh, bean soups, and a wide variety of other veggies.
Peektoe Crab recipes
Some Recipes for Peekytoe Crab (from the same New York Times Article):
CRAB SALAD WITH ZUCCHINI, TOMATO AND BASIL OIL
Adapted from Jo Jo
Time: 40 minutes
For the basil vinaigrette:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
12 large basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
1 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen string
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup basil vinaigrette
8 ounces fresh peeky toe or Maine crabmeat
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender. Blend one minute. Set aside. (Note: after one day the vinaigrette loses it green color.)
2. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Scrub, trim and slice zucchini into very thin coins and blanch them in boiling salted water for one minute. Drain and plunge in ice water for 10 seconds to stop the cooking.
3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat and saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and thyme and cook for 15 minutes. Set mixture aside to cool. Remove thyme and discard. Season tomato mixture with salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the basil vinaigrette.
4. In a small bowl, season zucchini with salt, pepper and two tablespoons of the basil vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, season the crab with salt, pepper, lemon zest and 1/3 cup of the basil vinaigrette. On each of four plates, arrange zucchini in a circle, overlapping slices to form a ring. Place crab in middle of circle. Spoon tomato mixture around the zucchini and garnish with basil sprigs.
Yield: 4 servings.
CRAB COCKTAIL WITH SEVRUGA CAVIAR, AVOCADO, GREEN ONION AND LEMON VERBENA VINAIGRETTE
Adapted from Judson Grill
Time: 35 minutes, plus 3 hours' resting time
For verbena oil:
2 cups grapeseed oil
1 bunch fresh lemon verbena, washed and dried (available at farmers' markets)
Zest of one lemon
For lemon verbena vinaigrette:
1 large egg yolk
6 tablespoons warm chicken stock
5 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups verbena oil
For basic vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
2 ounces baby greens
8 ounces peekytoe or Maine crab meat
2 green onions, thinly sliced white portion; bias cut some of green portion for garnish
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 avocado, peeled and quartered, each quarter sliced into fans.
1 ounce sevruga caviar.
1. Place all of the verbena oil ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Gently heat mixture until oil is very warm, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let rest for 3 hours. Strain, and set aside.
2. Make the lemon verbena vinaigrette: place yolk, stock, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a blender. Blend on low speed, and slowly drizzle in the verbena oil. Adjust seasoning; set aside.
3. Make basic vinaigrette: slowly drizzle olive oil into lemon juice while whisking. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Dress greens with 2 tablespoons basic vinaigrette. Place in four large martini glasses.
5. Mix crab meat with white part of the green onions, parsley and 6 tablespoons of lemon verbena vinaigrette. (There will be leftover vinaigrette.) Mold crab meat into four ovals, and place on greens. Drizzle the avocado fans with some of the basic vinaigrette. Place avocado fans into each glass, garnish with green part of green onion; top with caviar.
Yield: 4 servings.