Tag Archives: Crab

Broad Bean Salad, and Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

Broad Bean Salad

Broad Bean Salad

Last week, we had a busy time catching up with family and friends, entertaining grandsons and (shock, horror!!!) a couple of shifts of work for me.

My youngest son Daniel works at Cafe Aura in Traralgon so with one chef on holidays, and the boss off sick, they are very short staffed and got me in to do some prep work.

The first shift I worked was at really short notice-I had to take up a pair of black pants and get myself organised for a 9 am start after a 7.30 am wake up call from Daniel. I worked just over 5 hours and most of the shift was spent with my fingers either cramping up or threatening to. Not much fun.

Work

Work

The second shift I worked on Tuesday night was much, much better. I had lots of warning and did a nice mix of cooking on the grill and prep.

Saturday, Russ, grandson Rooke and I went to Melbourne for a family get together. Everyone took along either an appetiser, salad or dessert to share and meat for themselves to our Niece Yvonne and husband Stuart’s place. It was a fantastic afternoon catching up with everyone. Russ made us a crab dip using some of our picked frozen crab meat. It was really popular!

Family get together

Family get together

Sunday, we took our grandsons Kobie and Rooke to an open day at the Traralgon fire station. It was great-they got to use the hoses, sit in the fire truck, try on the breathing apparatus, we watched as they burned off a gas fire and saw the Skylift rise 42 metres in the sky. The boys got a free sausage, sticker, tattoos and cardboard cut out fire truck to

Fireman Kobie

Fireman Kobie

make.

This week’s been more of the same.

Wednesday I did kinder duty at Rooke’s kindergarten. I’ve done it once before and really enjoy it. I was in hospital as a new mum (of son Michael) with one of the kinder aides Di, so it’s been great to meet her again after maybe 24 years.

Zeus

Zeus

Thursday, we took Daniel’s beautiful big bull arab pup Zeus(he’s 10 months old) to the local car wash/dog wash for a bath. He was shampooed, rinsed, conditioned, flea rinsed and blow dried til he looked squeaky clean and smelled sweet.

Thursday night we went to a bbq with friends. I made a broad bean salad using our home cured bacon, and another crab dip.

Friday I worked 10 hours and today (Sat 22nd) I’m home now in the middle of my two shifts, so I’ll do another 10 or so hours.

Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

  • 1 cobb loaf (I really love Woolworths Onion and Parmesan one)
  • 1 cup crab meat (about)
  • 250 g block light Philly cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup low fat whole egg mayo
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill leaves
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • a slug of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 400 g can of artichokes, drained, then squeezed really dry, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

    Crab Dip in a Cobb Loaf

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 c
  2. Cut a lid from the cobb loaf, then carefully scoop or cut out most of the soft bread from the loaf and the lid.  Slice the scooped out bread into dipping sized pieces and put them and the loaf and lid on a baking tray and place in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients together and heat gently in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Increase the heat of the oven to 180 c, then pour the mix into the cobb loaf shell and put back in the oven for about 15 minutes or until bubbling and browning on top.
  5. Serve with the dipping pieces, and the lid torn to bits.

Broad Bean Salad

  • 500 g packet frozen broad beans, cooked per packet instructions, cooled in cold water
  • 125g bacon, diced, cooked crispy, reserve rendered fat
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • zest of a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • oil, extra, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Broad Bean Salad

    Broad Bean Salad

Method

  1. Peel the cooled broad beans (gets rid of the tough khaki green outer skin to revel bright green inner flesh)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring gently to combine. I use the bacon fat, making it up to two tablespoons with extra oil.
  3. Chill to allow the flavours to meld.

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Crab Enchiladas (for want of a better name!)

Crab Enchiladas salsa on

Crab Enchiladas salsa on

Sunday we took the day off fishing and crabbing to do some vanwork (as opposed to housework). With no undies left, my bath towel (which hangs by the kitchen sink in here) smelling distinctly of garlic, and our fishing clothes walking to the boat ramp ahead of us, it was time to do the laundry. Three loads later and before lunch, we headed back out to the old bore on the former Peron Station to continue down the road and find the elusive shearing shed Charlie and Beaty had told us about.
Shooting up the shearing shed must be how the locals have fun

Shooting up the shearing shed must be how the locals have fun

They also told us there was very little to see, which proved to be true. Not a particularly old shearing shed, it must have been built just before the station was handed back to Conservation and Land Management (CALM). Nor was it particularly photogenic but I tried.

Old fences on the former Peron Station

Old fences on the former Peron Station

After visiting it, we drove down a couple of tracks on the coastal side of the Denham road finding some old cattle yards and wells-once gain not particularly pretty but still, interesting.  Lunch, a cuppa with Charlie and Beaty, folding the loads of washing, then lamb chops and silky, buttery mashed spuds finished a lovely day!

Yesterday (Monday 21st July), we went out to Monkey Mia just before lunch to do some crabbing. Unlike last time, the crabs were very scarce. It took about 3 hours to come home with 7 crabs and 14 good sized sand whiting (we fish while the pots are down). As usual, it was gorgeous out on the water with scores of dolphins out fishing, playing and minding their sex slaves (go see the video at Monkey Mia and you’ll learn all about sex slaves!). Back at home, Russ cooked the crabs and filleted the fish. We had homemade pasties (just like my mum used to make) for our dinner.

Tonight, I took half the crab meat (the rest went into the freezer) and made  Crab Enchiladas. Not traditional enchiladas which have a sauce I can’t get here in Shark Bay, but my version of the dish. I got a similar recipe from our son Todd many years ago, but his uses cooked chicken. I also added in cumin powder and  coriander to my versions of his recipe. Call it what you like, it’s still a good way to use crab (or a bought BBQ chicken).

Crab Enchiladas (my way)

  • 1 cup crab meat (or thereabouts)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 190g can corn
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sliced pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 4 tortillas
  • 1 jar salsa ( I used a mild tomato)
  • 1 cup (about) grated cheese
  • Crab Enchiladas salsa on

    Crab Enchiladas salsa on

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190c
  2. Mix together the crab, corn, sour cream, spring onions ,cumin, jalapenos fresh coriander, lime juice, and tabasco sauce,
  3. Spoon the mix onto the tortillas and roll up. Place in a greased baking dish.
  4. Cover with salsa, then grated cheese.
  5. Bake in oven til the cheese is golden and the mixture bubbling-about 25 minutes.
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Crab Risotto

Crab Risotto

Crab Risotto

We had a late brunch yesterday (bacon and eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms on toast mmmmm) then went over to Monkey Mia to crab.

On the way across, I commented to Russ that if we happened to get any crabs, I’d make risotto for dinner Friday. We haven’t heard of anyone in the park crabbing, or getting crabs so I thought maybe they (the crabs) had moved on. How wrong was I. We’re only fishing on one licence now as the fishing is poor and 20 crabs is enough but they were there in huge numbers.

Pearl farm Monkey Mia

Pearl farm Monkey Mia

We had 8 nets out and every run (we did about 6) got us at least one, and often two, crabs in each net. We threw back lots of just size crabs to bring home 14 big beauties. I also pulled in a shovel nose shark/ray that was at least 1.2 metres long in one pot .  Russ has only ever been nipped by a crabs  a couple of times but one got him yesterday. It was undersized with one deformed claw. We threw it back, went back and picked that net up again 20 minutes later and there the nasty little bugger was again!

Back from crabbing watching Shotover go out

Back from crabbing watching Shotover go out

Last night we cooked the crabs and put them in the fridge-this morning we picked them. Out of interest, I weighed the meat. We got 1.2 kg! Then out of interest I priced blue swimmer crab meat-about $60 a kg so quite a nice little feed! We froze three packs of around 300g each, and kept back about 300g for risotto tonight.

Dubaut Inlet

Dubaut Inlet

After lunch we went for a drive to Dubaut Inlet-a lovely little creek Beaty and Charlie have often spoken of but we’ve never seen.  We probably did 10 ks of 4WDing through biridas, up and down red sand hills, to a little inlet surrounded by mangroves. It was one of those flat, still days when it becomes hard to tell the sky from the sea-very beautiful. It was a great few hours.

At home, I made crab risotto for dinner and we sat, as usual, telling each other how lucky we are!

Crab Risotto

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 leek, sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, divided
    • 1 cup aborio rice
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 3 cups chicken stock (approximately), kept simmering on another burner
    • zest of a lemon, divided
    • 2 tablespoon shredded basil, divided
    • 30 g grated parmesan cheese
    • 60g butter
    • cracked black pepper (much as you like)
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • Cooked crab meat (as much as you have, or want for two people)
Crab Risotto

Crab Risotto

Method

  1. Heat the oil and cook the leek until it’s well softened. Add half the garlic and cook a minute or so more.
  2. Add the rice and cook until it’s coated with the oil. Tip in the wine and cook, stirring, until it’s evaporated. Now start and add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until it’s completely evaporated, before adding the next.
  3. This might take about 25 minutes in total but keep stirring and when you get near the end of the stock, start tasting a grain of rice-it needs a bit of bite in the centre but to be 9/10ths cooked. When you reckon it’s almost done, add in half the lemon zest and shredded basil.
  4. When you are sure it’s done, turn the heat off and stir through the butter and parmesan, the lemon juice and black pepper. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes.
  5. Mix together the remaining garlic, basil and zest to make a gremolata
  6. Serve the risotto in a flat disc, sprinkle over the gremolata, top with the crab. Eat!

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A few more crabs means we poor pensioners can eat again!

Crab, lettuce, garlic aioli roll

Crab, lettuce, garlic aioli roll

Wednesday, after an amazing lunch of crab roll with garlic aioli and lettuce, and full of hope after the day before, we headed to Monkey Mia to crab once again. Our neighbour and his son took their big boat out too.

We put the boats in at 2.30 and headed back to to the boat ramp at 4.30. They caught (and threw back) 3 undersized crabs, we brought home 6 good sized ones, threw back 3 just size ones and heaps of females (tiny through to size). I reckon yesterday’s big boys knew the girls were coming!

Dinner last night was roast veggies (pumpkin and sweet potato bought back in Carnarvon and still going strong) with a couple of sausages thrown in on top, peas and gravy. It was good!

Lunch today, we were forced to have another crab sandwich. It’s a terrible, hard life we lead.

Afternoon of the giants

Just one of eleven

Just one of eleven

Sunday, we went out after lunch to Fowlers Camp to fish. It was windy and choppy for the 4 or so kilometres across the bay, but once we got beyond Eagle Bluff and into more open water it flattened right out. We caught around 40 pink snapper, with about 10 of those over 40cm but under that magic figure of 50cm. Russ eventually caught us one fish to take home. We ate him last night as crumbed fish with creamy curry sauce-one of our favourite sauces for fish and chips. When Russ cleaned him, he had two plastic lures in his gut, with no sign of them breaking down. Another smaller snapper we brought in threw up his bait then a plastic on the deck. I wonder just how good they actually are for fish if they can’t digest them?!
Crumbed fish with creamy curry sauce

Crumbed fish with creamy curry sauce

Yesterday (Monday) as the weather was basically crap we stayed in doors and the only energetic thing I did was to make fish stock.

Today after lunch, Russ reckoned we should go out to Monkey Mia and crab. We put our nets in at 2pm and pulled them out at 4pm and came home with 11 really good sized crabs. So good in fact, we let two size crabs go because they looked so tiny against our others.

When we first put the boat in, I thought we were crazy, it was windy and choppy and I knew who’d end up the coldest and wettest!. Anyhow, it settled down quite quickly and we had a pleasant couple of hours. As we drove the 27ks home, I was running all sorts of ideas through my head for our lovely catch. In the end, I decided on spaghetti with a tomato, chilli, crab sauce for dinner tonight, 2 big fat crab sandwiches for lunch tomorrow, and a couple of packets of picked meat for the freezer. We vacuum seal them and they become crab cakes, dip, pizza, bruschetta etc down the track. Much better than the little tubs or cans of crab you buy in a supermarket!

Spaghetti with Tomato, Chilli and Crab Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 chillis (heat is up to you, I used Thai Birdseye)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 440g can whole tomatoes, chopped (I hate pre chopped canned tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I’m heavy handed with both)
  • zest of a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • pasta water-enough to loosen the sauce up
  • cooked spaghetti or pasta (I like really thin spag with sauces like this)
  • cooked crab meat (I had 2 big ones for the two of us)
  • Spaghetti with tomato, chilli and crab sauce

    Spaghetti with tomato, chilli and crab sauce

Method

  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook a few minutes or until softened. Add the chilli and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  2. Add the white wine and cook until it’s reduced, then tip in the can of tomatoes and chop (I do this with kitchen scissors) Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Allow to cook down until the tomatoes are well softened and the mix has reduced. Add in a half cup or so of pasta water to loosen the sauce back up and give it a starchy “creaminess”.
  4. Stir through the zest,lemon juice and parsley, then toss through the cooked pasta.
  5. Finally add the cooked crab, toss lightly again and serve.
  6. Along with a final slug of olive oil, I held back a bit of parsley, zest and claw meat to garnish the dish.

Singapore Black Pepper Crab

Crabs on the platter

Crabs on the platter

Yesterday a late, quick trip over to Monkey Mia netted us (literally) 10 crabs. It was slow going initially with the first few, while over legal size, not big enough for my planned Singapore Black Pepper Crab. After two hours crabbing, with the sun starting to drop in the sky, we headed home with 6 smaller ones and those 4 precious larger crabs-my plan was saved!

Turning them upside down sends them to sleep

Turning them upside down sends them to sleep

It was beautiful out there. The water was oily making it easy to see the dolphins out hunting, and we saw a huge (bigger than I’ve ever seen) flock of cormorants fishing amongst them. A couple of sour notes though-2 days earlier, we’d seen a hire kayak left anchored out where we crab, while the paddlers went back to shore in a tinny, then returned for the kayak. It (the kayak) had been tied to something with a bottle marking the spot. It was still there yesterday so we retrieved it. A plastic bottle tied by super strong fishing line was tied to a star picket-imagine if you got all that around your propeller !! Not long after that we picked up an empty stubby floating by-take your own rubbish home!

The recipe I made tonight is from a cookbook called Spice. I reckon we had about 1.4kg crabs but I prepared all the sauce so we could make bigger messes of ourselves and have some over rice!

Singapore Black Pepper Crab

  • 3 tablespoons ketjap manis
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 kg raw blue swimmer crabs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 -2 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
Crabs in the wok

Crabs in the wok

Method

  1. Put ketjap manis, oyster sauce, sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl, stir, then set aside.
  2. Pull back the apron of each crab, remove top shell, then intestines and feathery gills. Rinse quickly.
  3. Cut each crab into quarters and crack the legs gently (I use a meat mallet) so the flavours can enter.
  4. Heat the oil in a very large wok over high heat; add the crab pieces and stir fry in batches until the shell is bright orange and the meat almost cooked (about 5 minutes). Remove and repeat until all is cooked.
  5. Add the butter, ginger, garlic, chilli, black and white peppers and coriander to the wok; stir fry 30 seconds.
  6. Add the sauce mixture and stir; bring to the boil, then simmer 2 minutes.
  7. Return the crab to the wok and toss to coat in the sauce.
  8. Cook a further 2-3 minutes to finish cooking the crab then garnish with the spring onions and coriander leaves.
  9. Serve.
Crab on the plate

Crab on the plate

Crab almost gone

Crab almost gone

I have to say, it might seem like a huge amount of pepper, but it works really well. I reckon I could feed it to my non-pepper eating friend Janette and she’d like it!

Sunny Days

Finally a beautiful morning

I woke up at 6 am Friday to a beautiful, sunny, still morning, so pushed Russ out of bed and after a quick breakfast we got out on the Inlet to do a bit of fishing and crabbing. It was like a mill pond and just the right temperature to be out there.

It was great to catch 4 good sized flathead, 2 herring, a tarwhine and a salmon. We caught 5 big crabs but as 3 were females with eggs, we returned those. We stayed out until lunch time but caught most of our fish and crabs before 10 am, so maybe we need to get out of bed earlier more often.

Back home, Russ smoked the herring and salmon while I cooked and picked the two crabs. Most of the flathead was vacuum sealed and frozen but we had a little of it and the tarwhine crumbed for dinner along with some magnificent Thai crab cakes Russ made us.

Thursday was sunny but windy so we went for a bit of a walk to look at wild flowers around the caravan park and along the beach. I’ll include a few photos in the slide show below.

Thai Style Crab Cakes

  • Meat of two large, cooked, blue swimmer crabs (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced finely
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped coriander
  • 2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • grated zest of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs (enough so the mix holds together as cakes)
  • Black pepper to taste
Thai Style Crab Cakes

Thai Style Crab Cakes

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together well, then pop in the fridge for about an hour to firm it up.
  2. Form into cakes. Russ made 6 large ones but you could make 8 (or even 12) smaller ones.
  3. Heat enough veg oil to over the bottom of your frying pan, then cook the crab cakes for about 3 or 4 minutes each side or until cooked through.

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