It’s a well-known fact that San Francisco is famous for it’s Dungeness Crab. Each year, between mid-November and June, you will find countless amounts of fresh crabs at the Wharf and in the best of restaurants in town. Now, the past couple of years have been really tough, but the 2010/2011 season is looking pretty epic! You can find crabs at local markets for as cheap at $3.99/pound. Awesome! Every year, I get invited over to my friend’s house for a crab feast. It’s tradition and her dad, Nick, has been steaming crabs for a long, long time! Here’s a sneak peek at all the fun we had and check out the full recipe below.
Allow yourself the ability to maximize the crab-eating experience by using all of your senses and making your own crab dinner! Invite a few friends over and follow the delicious and simple recipe below for a night of good conversation, messy eating and the freshest crab around.
Nick’s Famous Steamed Dungeness Crab Recipe
Go to the market (Asian markets are great for crab) and buy 8 live 1-2 pound Dungeness Crabs (serves 4-6 people). It is crucial that the crabs are live and active when you buy them. Add 3-inches of water to a seafood steam pot (16-quart used in this recipe), 6 ounces of vinegar, 10 dried chiles crushed by hand (or Mexican hot sauce), and 4 ounces of Old Bay Spice or Susan’s Seafood Seasoning.
1. Bring to a steaming boil and then put half of crabs into the pot. Cover with lid. Do not remove lid for 5 minutes.
2. After 5 minutes of boiling, remove lid and sprinkle 6 more ounces of seasoning on top of each crab
3. Continue steaming for 25 minutes with lid on pot
4. Set the table ‘a la casual’ with newspaper and tons of napkins
5. Roll up your sleeves, pair with a beautiful wine, and enjoy the conversation
Special thanks to Nick Mamczak!
Nick Mamczak is a fantastic cook, classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America. This recipe was inspired by his love of seafood.
On Thanksgiving proper, we were invited to a friend’s for lunch and then over to family’s for dinner, so, no cooking my own turkey. Instead, I offered 2 side dishes, plucked from Real Simple magazine. For some reason, I felt like I was cheating. Here I am, Zuzy, from Cooking for the Clueless, preaching to all novice cooks that they can “do it,” they can cook, “it’s easy.” Yet, here I was not even making my own turkey? Ahh, the pressure we put on ourselves! So, I decided to cook my own Thanksgiving tonight, Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday as they call it. How did it go? Well, I won’t lie, it was stressful! Before I get into the stress, here was my menu:
The Oyster & Bacon Stuffing was a huge huge hit (I used smoked oysters) and I was happy with the rest of the menu too. But, I have to tell you that the damn turkey almost gave me a heart attack! They only had frozen turkeys when I went to the supermarket late the night before and I was stressed about defrosting it. Then, when roasting, I had a leak in the cheapie pan that I used and the oven started smoking. Next, I was worried about opening and closing the oven too many times while cooking the side dishes. Finally, after about 4 hours, it started to look like a cooked turkey. But like most new cooks, I still stressed over possibly poisoning my family and neighbor with an undercooked bird, so I dug into the drawer for my 2 fancy meat thermometers – all this while I cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, and set the table with fancy things. Our only guest this evening, my lovely neighbor, arrived punctually and after a few minutes of watching me try to put a battery into the fancy meat thermometer, she offered some help. She set the thermometer aside and grabbed a fork. With a couple of pokes, she says, “oh, it’s done!” in her New York Italian accent. She had 79 years of cooking wisdom behind her, so I took her word for it! Thankfully, it turned out pretty good and with good wine and great conversation, I’ll call it a hit!
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!
Filed under clueless, cooking, cooking 101, Cooking for dummies, frustration, homemade food, kitchen, newlywed, recipes for beginners, starting to cook, Thanksgiving, tips for new cooks
Now that Thanksgiving is at our doorstep, everyone is cooking! And cooking with fresh herbs is the best, right? Instead of buying fresh herbs every week at the market, I planted my first garden! Why now after all the plants that I’ve killed? Well, I’ve been inspired, by Annie’s Homegrown Root 4 Kids campaign and by my 1-year old son– to do things better, cook more, eat fresher and really understand my food. Starting a garden is a great step in that direction.
We planted Rosemary, Dark Italian Parsley, Oregano, Tri-Color Sage, Thyme, Marjoram & edible Violas. This time, I decided to get some help from the pros at Sunnyside Nursery. Check out our latest episode on planting your own herb garden.
Their best advice:
- Move your plants into a planter
- Use good, fresh potting soil (organic works great)
- Expose to plenty of natural light/shield from too much wind
- Water, water, water (soil should “slightly damp”, not too wet)
- Trim and use often in cooking!
Instead of shopping madness this holiday weekend, why not join Root 4 Kids with me and plant your own garden? Sending you gardening success and a wonderful Thanksgiving!
I’ve been waiting since last Thanksgiving to tell you about Cook! SF’s amazing Thanksgiving Feast. If you want to host your very own, organically scrumptious, homemade Thanksgiving, but want to take some of the hassle out of the process (or you’re a procrastinator like me, which inevitably brings hassle), have Cook! SF help you. They deliver the goods, you cook by following their easy instructions and pre-measured ingredients. Here’s what you will get delivered to your doorstep:
Serving 8-10 Guests
- Free-range Organic Turkey
- Real Turkey Gravy From Home-Made Stock
- Our Famous Corn Bread Stuffing
- Creamy Organic Red-Skin Mashed Potatoes
- Sumptuously Steamed Organic Green Beans
- Organic Spring Mix Salad with Crumbled Blue Cheese (optional), Pears, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries
- Zesty Orange and Ginger Cranberry Sauce
- Gluten-free & Dairy-free pumpkin pie
- Apple pie so good you won’t believe there’s no gluten or dairy!
Check out their video explaining how it works and their website, but don’t delay – ORDERS MUST BE MADE BY THIS FRIDAY, November 19, 2010.
For more information, please visit: http://www.cooksf.com
Facebook lovers: http://www.facebook.com/CookSF
If I was hosting my own this year, I would definitely go Cook! I kinda wish we were in our new place, but the relatives locked us in at their place :0)
Thanks again to Irving Greisman of Irving’s Premium Foods. He’s known to make the best Challah bread in the San Francisco Bay Area and it really was amazing. I was asked to co-host a challah-making class with him only to discover that he was so charming and such a great teacher that I wanted to adopt him as my grandpa. The class was hosted by the Young Adult Division (YAD) of the Jewish Community Federation in benefit of the Chicken Soupers. I braided and baked my challah dough as soon as I got home – mostly so that I wouldn’t forget what I learned. Check out my challah below.
For Irving’s Challah French Toast recipe (with a very unexpected ingredient), click here.
Freshly baked 4-braid Challah bread.
Irving’s challah is available in markets throughout the Bay Area.
I’m getting really excited for next week’s Challah-making class (Oct 21st) with the one and only Irving Greisman of Irving’sPremium Challah. Irving is known as “the” best challah-baker in San Francisco. I was asked to help host the class as Irving’s student, asking all the questions anyone would want to know. Aside from loving good challah and butter and challah french toast, I’m most excited about learning from a great teacher. I met Irving earlier in the week and he reminded me of my grandpa – very welcoming, very intelligent, great teacher.
The class will benefit the JFCS Adults with Disabilities program. For more information, see event invitation HERE.