Bay Crab Chowder with Corn

As the weather turns cooler, thoughts turn to… chowder! Since I used one can of crab for the appetizer, I will use the other can of crab meat for… you guessed it, chowder! You can’t just buy one can of crab… or at least I can’t. Add it to some chicken broth and milk, with some corn, and a shake or two of Old Bay seasoning, and you can make a simple Chesapeake Bay style staple.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 leaf McCormick® Bay Leaves

Heat butter and oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and bay leaf; cook and stir 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and chicken broth. Bring to boil. Add corn and crabmeat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.

corn-crab-chowder-finished-1

Duck Walk Shrimp

Its a nice day for shrimp, and yes, I have no idea what exactly that means, but it popped into my head none the less. I have shrimp on my mind, which is better than the alternative, having wine on my mind which is probably just as likely. So, let’s open a fresh bottle of Duck Walk white and talk about shrimp, and pasta, and vino.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of medium shrimp drained peeled and deveined
  • 1 ½ cups Duck Walk white wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground peppercorns
  • 1 package of linguini cooked and drained

Melt the butter and toss in the garlic and get that browning. Deglaze with a little wine and add the shrimp and the rest of the wine. Cook until the shrimp are done, nice and firm, about six minutes or so. Then remove the shrimp for the pan and set aside. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and reduce this down to a little thicker sauce. Then add the linguine and get tit well coated with the pan sauce, and then add back the shrimp. Warm every thing and serve it up shaved Parmesan cheese and with some garlic toast…. And wine!

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Chef Bill’s Secret Citrus Spice Rub

This rub is made from fresh citrus rinds. Oranges, lemons, and limes, add their oils to bring a fresh summer taste to fish, shrimp, and sometimes chicken tossed on the grill.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. Captain Morgan spiced rum

Stir together lemon, orange and lime rinds, garlic, chili powder and oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rub mixture into meat and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

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Spring Little Necks

Spring is a great time to go down to the docks and pick up a couple of dozen clams. The smaller littleneck clams work very well in pasta dishes where they are tossed in and served whole, being steamed in the sauce. This method also works well with mussels. I find the smaller clams to be the sweeter ones

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, coarsely chopped, reserving juice
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic with red-pepper flakes, stirring, until pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, add whole clams to sauce and cook, covered, shaking skillet occasionally, until clams open wide, 6 to 10 minutes (discard any clams that remain unopened after 10 minutes). Transfer clams in shells to a large shallow bowl. If sauce is too watery, boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Drain spaghetti. Return clams to sauce and add pasta, tossing

Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce

Spicy Spinach Mussels

One of the signs of spring around here seems to be the big bags of spinach that the produce guy is throwing at me. I don’t know what makes him so mad… spinach makes a wonderful ingredient in salads and stuffing, as well as a stand-alone side. So lets put those bags of spinach to good use.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 40 Prince Edward Island mussels or other high-quality mussels
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 baguette, sliced on the diagonal into eight ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes with their juice, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup Duck Walk white wine
  • ½ bunch fresh spinach, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Clean the mussels by scrubbing well under cold running water and removing any beards. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate.

Pour 1/2 cup of the olive oil into a shallow baking dish. Lay the bread slices in the oil and turn once to coat both sides. Toast the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the croutons to a plate to cool.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil into a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mussels, tomatoes, and pepper flakes and season with salt to taste. Stir well and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add the wine and spinach, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until all the mussels open. Discard any that do not open! Really, no joking here… bad mussels go bad in a bad bad way.

Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large serving bowl. Garnish with spinach leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Stud the bowl with the croutons and serve.

spinach-mussles

Mushrooms stuffed with Crab

This makes a nice warm appetizer. A small serving tray of these will disappear in no time at all. Yes, agaricus bisporus, the common white, or button mushroom gets invites to all the parties because he’s a fungi… ok, it’s a notoriously bad pun, but, unlike crab stuffing,  I use it sparingly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 30 large mushrooms
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 2 lg. green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/8 c. parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened

Combine ingredients (except mushrooms) to make the stuffing mixture.

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and sauté the stems in butter and add them to the stuffing mixture.

Stuff the caps with the stuffing. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Let them cool a bit before getting them on the tray and out to the guests.

crabstuffedmushroom

Tortellini with Crab Sauce

Pasta and sauce, a simple combination that can have so many different variations on the theme. Well, this one is inspired in part by a Sicilian sauce I had at a little Italian place. There are no anchovies in this version however (perhaps next time we’ll add the little salt bombs).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 rashers of thick cut bacon
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Dash of pepper

Remove any shell and cartilage from the crab meat. Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and bacon until the bacon has been fairly well rendered and the veggies are tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, and a dash of sea salt and pepper. Simmer this for about a half an hour getting the sauce to meld together. Then, add the crab meat and heat through. Serve this over your favorite pasta but I really like this over cheese tortellini.

tortellini-chunky-tomato-sauce

Clams Au Gratin

This is a noodle casserole with fresh clams and clam juice. It’s a yummy, cheesy, seaside comfort food for chilly winter days. This dish bakes up nicely in a warm oven that helps take the chill out of the air.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One pint of clam meat
  • 1 ¼ cups of clam juice and milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup of butter (bless you Paula Dean)
  • 1 cup of elbow macaroni cooked
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese (use the good stuff or you’ll get tat day-glow faux cheese nastiness)
  • 1 tsp seal salt
  • Dash of pepper

 

Shuck the clams and save the juice. Chop up the clam meat, scald the juice and milk or cream if you prefer.

Add the butter and melt that into the liquid. Take it off the heat and add in the macaroni, bead crumbs, grated cheese, salt, pepper, clams, mix well. Then, blend in the two eggs. Transfer this mixture to a well greased casserole dish.

Bake the casserole in an oven at 350 degrees for about forty five minutes. Let it set for a few minutes before bringing it to the table.

SteamerClams1

Scallops with Captain Morgan Coconut Rum Sauce

Keeping a spirits theme going, this one’s a refugee from the summer grilling menu. But, if you have one of those indoor grillers, this tropical scallop dish can be made anytime (especially when there is a sale on scallops).

Here’s what you’ll need:

Coconut Rum Sauce:

  • ¼ cup Captain Morgan Pirate Bay Coconut rum
  • ½ cup sliced bananas
  • ¼ cup pineapple
  • ¼ cup light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice

Scallops:

  • 1 pound large sea scallops
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.
In a blender container combine all ingredients for coconut rum sauce and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Lightly coat a baking pan with canola oil. Dredge scallops in flour, then dip into beaten eggs and roll in grated coconut. Place in prepare baking pan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until coconut is golden.
Warm up the coconut sauce. Serve 3 coconut-crusted scallops with sauce.

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Shrimp with Patron Silver Glaze

It’s a clean, crisp, and smooth nectar from the agave plant crafted into one of the best things to come from Jalisco Mexico. And it makes a nice glaze for shrimp. And being close to the holidays, it’s a nice way of finishing up the tequila left over from summer and make room for a new bottle on the shelf. So, let’s grab that bottle of Patron Silver, free a lime from the fridge, and make some sweet shrimp.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Patron Silver tequila
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp. lime juice
  • Half a dozen or so jumbo shrimp

Clean, peal, and de-vein your shrimp.

Combine the tequila, brown sugar, and lime juice in a sauce pan and simmer until its about the same consistence of maple syrup.

In a hot pan sauté the shrimp for a bout one minute, then brush the glaze on them and let them cook another minute or so. These guys do cook up rather quick.

I like to serve these guys up on a bed of roasted corn relish, or over Cajun spiced rice. But you could just plate them up with a shot of Patron Silver and a lime wedge and enjoy them as an appetizer (especially if you prepare this with a larger number of smaller shrimp).

Tequila- Patron-Silver