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.
Petrale from down deep this week. As you all remember before break, petrale has a rich, but light-textured taste and is a stark contrast to last week’s high-flying swordfish. Maybe the difference is that swordfish and petrale’s paths never really cross. While the Petrale hugs the floor in colder climes, swordfish
remain up top in the warmth (though they do dive deep to find food, which is why they have such large eyes). Nevertheless, both are caught within the diverse waters of the Monterey Bay. While we’re speaking of difference, unlike past petrale deliveries, whole fish members will receive whole fish this week. Fillet preference members will receive fillets.
This week we will be LABELLING Whole fish member shares!
Petrale is also known as California Sole… for good reason. Once head North around point Conception, Petrale is landed at every major harbor. Harbors in Monterey Bay and SF Bay Area land Petrale year round, though the top months are generally during the winter. It’s another one of those species that has strong years followed by weaker years. As an example, SF landed 19,000 lbs of Petrale in March but landed 0 lbs the same month in 2011. At the same time in Monterey, landings were significantly less, but were also more consistent. Fish populations vary A LOT from year to year, even within such short distances as SF to Monterey. This is one major reason why fishermen try to target multiple species of fish at one time, because if they bank their entire trip on one species, and that fish either isn’t there or isn’t biting, they come back to port still needing to pay for gas and slip fees. Of course, the best fish to target are those that fetch the best price at market, so you need to try for those.
The fish was caught by Keith Walker, who lives in Moss Landing and is one of the only trawlers remaining in the Monterey Bay. Learn more about Keith here. The trawl fishery is part of the West Coast Interestingly, the winter trawl fishery for petrale has very low chances for bycatch because the fish tend to congregate for spawning, and in deeper water than most other species are found.
You’d think that targeting a fish when it is spawning wouldn’t be generally be good for the future of the stock BUT, potentially even more interesting, is that scientists have found that there’s no reason to think this is any more dangerous for the stock than fishing Petrale when they’re just hanging around. Find out more about that at NOAA’s really nice FishWatch website, which will tell you a bit more about the Petrale fish and fishery.
Central Coast Marine Protected Area Community Meeting in PG - Jan. 15 @ 5:30 pm
You may remember the recent initiative by California to set up a network of marine protected areas along the coastline. Just to refresh, MPAs are restrict the ability to harvest or to collect organisms from the most ecologically important areas of our coast so that these areas can help to rebuild fish and plant populations across the entire coastline.
Well, it’s been FIVE years since they were established, and now the good folks who work for the Golden State are touring the Central Coast to talk about it and find potential ways to get the folks who live along the coast involved with their coast’s management. Talking points include:
1) Sharing info about the MPA monitoring to date and learning about monitoring questions and priorities
2) Exploring the role of local expertise and local ecological knowledge in monitoring activities
3) Excahgning ideas and discussing opportunities for partnership buidling and collaboration.
4) Receiving your input related to the Central Coast plan.
I went to the symposium held last year in Monterey, and I’ll say it was very engaging to learn about all the activities being undertaken in along our beautiful coastline to ensure that it not only retains its beauty but that it becomes productive for our local fishermen and the surrounding economies of the communities that depend on it.
Mushroom Baked Petrale
From the LCMB Archive, this recipe is sure to be a hit. Member Riley H. loved it, and recommended a side of salad and jasmine rice.
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 pounds petrale sole fillets
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon flour
1) Sauté onion, parsley, and mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of the margarine, stirring constantly until onions are soft.
2) Place half the fillets in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with pepper, and spread sautéed mixture evenly over fish.
3) Top with remaining fillets, season with pepper, pour wine over all and dot with remaining margarine.
4) Bake at 350 degrees F., uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drain, reserving the pan liquid.
5) In a small saucepan, combine flour and milk. Add the reserved pan liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
6) Pour over the fish and bake 5 minutes longer. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
About Your Petrale Sole
Caught by: Keith Walker on F/V Captain John
Landed: Moss Landing 1/8 (Petrale sole is fresh for up to 10 days on ice or in refrigeration)
Filleted and bagged: Monday 1/13 by Alan and Kevin
Coolers packed: Tuesday 1/14 AM, by Alan, Zach, and Joseph
Fillets shares vs. Whole fish shares: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK! Whole fish member will receive whole fish, Fillet preference will receive fillets.
This week’s offerings from the sea are the amazingly well camouflaged sanddabs. They spend their time blending into the ocean floor hoping to ambush some tasty prey. Tuck Yee and Joe Carvalo caught these guys off Moss Landing this weekend. We suggest eating them as soon as you can get your hands on all the ingredients for the recipe below.
1) Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; roll in flour and fry in half the butter.
2) When tender and nicely browned, transfer to a hot platter and keep hot.
3) Add remaining butter to skillet and brown lightly; add lemon juice and parsley and pour over fish.
4) Serve at once.
Caught by: Tuck Yee and Joe Carvalo on the F/V Papason
Landed in: Moss Landing
When landed: Saturday and Sunday, 10/12 and 10/13
Filleted and bagged: Monday, 10/14, by Greg Young
Coolers packed: Tuesday AM 10/15, by Alan and Joseph
Fillets shares vs. Whole fish shares: Same Today!
What to take: small shares: 1 bag; family shares: 2 bags.
For best taste, eat by: Sanddabs are not quite as perishable as squid, but need to be eaten as soon as possible. We suggest you eat them by Wednesday night, or otherwise freeze them. Whole fish shares should be cleaned on Tuesday.