Dungeness crab this week! It has a great story, which will be turned into a short documentary over the next year. We were approached by the folks at TrimTab Media. They are filming a documentary on California fishing, an industry that went from 6900 boats in 1981 to 1800 today, and want to feature individuals and businesses that are leading the sustainable seafood movement along the coast. The filmmakers sent us a synopsis which says it best:
“Through interviews and compelling footage of fishing activities from Crescent City to Morro Bay, this film will demystify the work fishermen do and the methods they use. Audiences will come away with a greater awareness and understanding of who commercial fishermen are, their workcraft, and their significance in local communities. Viewers will understand how they (as consumers) are connected to this industry and the environment through their seafood purchasing choices.”
Your crab played an important role in this storyline, it represents the many actions that Community Supported Fisheries are undertaking to link fishermen directly with local people who enjoy local seafood. We look forward to sharing the film with you all when it is finished!
Dungeness Crab Bisque
As we think about winter (and feel slightly cooler temps), this nice bisque would be a perfect recipe to pair with thoughts of a rainy forecast (for once, desired!). This recipe was found on Williams and Sonoma’s recipe page.
2 Dungeness crabs, 1 to 1 1/2 lb. each, cooked
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups bottled clam juice
3 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs. Cognac or other good-quality brandy
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1) (Whole Fish Members- Start Here) clean and crack the crabs: Twist off the legs and claws and set aside. Place each crab on its back and pull off the small triangular apron-shaped shell flap, then insert your thumb underneath the top shell and pull it off. Remove the dark gray intestines and the feather-shaped white spongy gills from the body and discard. Rinse the crab body well. Break the body in half and remove the meat from the cavities.
2) (Fillet Members – Start Here) Using a mallet, crack the legs in several places and remove the meat. Set aside the crabmeat in a bowl. Crack the large claws and carefully remove the meat from each claw in a single piece. Slice the meat and set aside for garnish. Using kitchen shears, cut the shells into small pieces; set aside.
3) In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
4) Add the crab shells, tomatoes, wine and tarragon, if using. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir to mix well.
5) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
6) In a bowl, combine the clam juice and water. Combine one-third of the clam juice mixture and one-third of the shell mixture in a blender. Pulse briefly to break up the shells.
7) Place a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour the contents of the blender through the sieve. Repeat with the remaining clam juice and shell mixtures in 2 batches. Transfer to a clean soup pot.
8) Place the pot over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the cream, brandy and cayenne and season with salt and pepper.
9) Add the reserved crabmeat and heat through. Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with the claw meat. Serve immediately.
About Your Crab
Caught by: Kevin Mellegers on the F/V Ticon
Landed in: Santa Cruz
Landed Cooked and Cleaned: Sunday and Monady (1/26, 1/27) by Alan, Shelly, Kevin, and Zach
Coolers packed: Tuesday (1/28) by Alan, Zach, Kevin, and Joseph
Fillets shares vs. Whole fish shares: DIFFERENCE: whole fish members will get their crab whole, uncleaned. Bags labeled with name, fillet members get cleaned and quarted crab.
What to take: One Share = One Bag
Eat by: Thursday
about Dungeness crab fishing:
-Dungeness crab are caught with traps/pots. Click here to learn more about pros and cons of this fishing method
-LCMB exclusive VIDEO: Fisherman Christian Zajac explains crab traps; crab is unloaded from John Hulliger’s boat
-We’re working on getting out to shoot our own footage, but until then check out this video to see what California crabbing is like out on the water. You’ll see the fishermen measure each crab and toss back females and undersized crabs.
about Dungeness crab preparation:
-16 Awesome dungeness crab recipes on the LCMB website
-Prep suggestions from other members are here. Add yours!
-LCMB video cooking demo #1: Dungeness Crab with Wine and Butter
-LCMB video cooking demo #2: Member and Otter 501 moviestar Katie Pofahl walk you through cooking a Cromellete
-Be sure to eat all the yummy meat from within the body, not just the meat in the legs!
-Use a crab claw as a tool to pick out the body meat from the cartilage “dividers.”
-Leftover crab is delicious in a Cromellete
-If your crab has any black meat it is not bad for you! It is just a chemical reaction that occurs when the gills touch the meat, which happens during the cleaning process.