Just Across the Bay


The best crabs around these parts (the US mid-Atlantic region) reside in the Chesapeake estuary, and Baltimore celebrates them better than do most other places.  Among the bounty of shellfish preparations the city offers, none matches Crab Cakes.  Particularly not when the leading ingredient is crab.  Astoundingly huge nuggets of sweet, flaky crab. It’s a… Continue reading Just Across the Bay

Along Italy’s Pacific Coast


Wait, what?  There’s the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, but when did this whole Pacific thing happen?  About 150 years ago, actually, when Italian immigrants to the U.S. made their way westward and those of a more nautical disposition found work is San Francisco’s fishing industry.  While many in the Bay Area discovered wealth inland extracting… Continue reading Along Italy’s Pacific Coast

Timing Has to Be Perfect


Otherwise, Tomato and Crab Soup wouldn’t deliver the garden’s glorious flavors with quite such style.  Certainly, the soup would be memorable any time of year, but in early August, when high summer vaults garden vegetables past each other in pursuing perfection, the results approach the divine.  Ambrosia. Soup now, though?  While the humidity gives vegetables… Continue reading Timing Has to Be Perfect

Colder than a Virginia Summer


Most things are, actually, as the mercury vaults beyond comprehension by late June and heat makes the roads bubble.  Add the dripping humidity especially prevalent in southern Virginia and everything becomes a sauna; it’s inescapable.  Before air conditioning, the British Foreign Service considered Washington to be a tropical posting and compensated its diplomats accordingly.  This… Continue reading Colder than a Virginia Summer

Look What Was Under the Tree!


Today’s entry started its way to us Christmas morning, when gift cards were among the presents.  Over the couple months that followed, those cards produced mail-order merchandise, including King Crab legs and tamarind paste.  Their selection had a purpose, as they’re the headliners in Kdam Char Umpey, or Cambodian Tamarind Crab. As with so many… Continue reading Look What Was Under the Tree!

Look at Granny, Slicing and Dicing


Spring has arrived and summer’s bounty isn’t long behind.  Fresh produce already is in abundance now, and only will improve and become more plentiful as the days lengthen and continue getting warmer.  What better time to expand our salad repertoire and take things in a new direction? You see one of those experiments above – Crabmeat, Apple and… Continue reading Look at Granny, Slicing and Dicing

OK, You Like Soup, We Get It


The latest entry is a Vietnamese staple, măng tây cua, a crab and asparagus soup.  This is the perfect time for soup making in general because a persistent cold snap has left May feeling more like March.  How welcome would a nice warm bowl of tropical-glistened shellfish be right now? Moreover, the chilly weather can’t last forever,… Continue reading OK, You Like Soup, We Get It

The King’s Ming’s


Ming Tsai’s idea, that is.  It was his inspiration to use King Crab in his Thai Papaya Crab dish.  Actually, it’s a practical, if somewhat expensive, solution to a serving problem.  See, using a smaller, more “local” variety of crab would have required much more work to extract the prize. Not so with King Crab.  Those gigantic legs, split… Continue reading The King’s Ming’s