Monthly Archives: May 2013

the crab chronicles

it’s softshell crab season again, yehey!
i always watch out for these lovely critters, arriving on our shores, er, grocery shelves, i mean, in the green of springtime. i’ve yet to convince my kids to take a bite–they who usually gobble up fried fish and chips, tempura, and other such battered goodies. i just can’t fathom why not.

maybe it has something to do with how they’re prepped, while still alive. i’ll spare you the gory details, but i will say i apologized profusely to each one, and took a deep breath and got into the zone. you know, the me-human, gotta eat zone.

i decided to do a mad-scientist kind of experiment, dipping the crabs into a different crumb mixture in the third stage of deep-fry-batter.
after the crabs were rinsed and “prepped” dip in seasoned flour (salt and pepper, plus cayenne and paprika if desired), then beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs. i dipped two of the crabs in a mixture of plain bread crumbs and ground almonds,

one crab in only ground almonds
and one in only bread crumbs.

then they were all deep fried.
i’ve decided that i liked them all so much, i’ve declared it a draw. although if you bribe coax me enough i’d declare the half almond half bread crumb the winner.

i prepared a little bowl of creamy dip of mayonnaise, finely crushed garlic, lemon, olive oil, and aji amarillo for a bit of a kick. substitutes for aji amarillo (yellow pepper paste from Peru): i’d go for anything that is zesty like sriracha, or tabasco, or even ketchup if that’s all you can bear. or even just a spritz of fresh lemon juice! or calamansi! or lime! whew, just. go. get. some. softshell crabs. right. NOW.

lemon drizzle bites

lemon drizzle
i wanted to bring a dessert to a dear neighbor’s housewarming dinner party (i hope to be invited back heehee!)and i doubled the recipe to leave some for my sons. i’ll have to make another batch for daughter when she comes home from college, next week :) !

these “bites” (actually slices) are so bright and zingy, they will cheer you up even for just a brief and wonderful moment…

i used 2 jumbo lemons and a Meyer lemon…feel free to play around with other citrus fruits. i’m thinking lime, blood orange, tangerine…
lemony and zingy
for the cake:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 & 1/3 cups ground almonds (almond flour)

2/3 cup granulated sugar

preheat the oven to 350°F.
grease and line a large rectangular pan (i used my pyrex) with parchment paper, then grease the paper.

beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, adding a little flour to prevent the mixture curdling. add the remaining flour and ground almonds and fold the ingredients together gently until just combined. turn into the pan and level the surface.

bake for about 25 minutes until just firm to the touch. transfer to a wire rack to cool. while still warm, sprinkle the granulated sugar in a thick layer over the cake and drizzle with the lemon juice. allow to cool completely and cut into thin slices to serve.
lemon drizzle bites, before
adapted from a recipe from “200 mini cakes and bakes hamlyn all color,” from Hamlyn, division of Octopus Publishing, (An Hachette UK Company)