Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wednesday Night Dinner For The Hawthornes: A Crab Meat Boule And Pork And Veggie Kabobs. With A Meltdown For Dessert.

The other night when we cooked the pesto pizza, I saved part of the bread dough to make a boule - an edible bowl to contain my crab meat fixin's.
I sliced off the top and hollowed out the bread bowl, saving the innards for dipping utensils.
The ingredients for the crab meat filling: 1 pound crab meat 4 TB butter + 4 TB cream cheese 4 TB Brie 1 orange 1 lemon 2 green onions red pepper
red onion (Imagine a red onion in the picture.) Sherry There are different grades of crabmeat based on what part of the crab the meat comes from.
When deciding on which grade to use,
you need to consider the recipe. Jumbo Lump, the most expensive crab meat,
is the muscle meat attached to the pair of swimmers at the rear of the crab.
It is removed whole from the crab
and is a large, white chunk of meat
with very little shell or cartilage in it.
Jumbo lump runs $20/pound down here.
Use Jumbo Lump when the crab meat
is the star attraction of your dish.
Never break up the lump.
Use it in cocktail presentations
where the size of the
lumps can shine.
When you want to display
beautiful white meat, use Jumbo Lump,
say in a Crab Louis
(Crab meat lumps, hard boiled eggs
on Boston or Bibb lettuce with a variation of
a Thousand Island/Russian dressing
or Louis Sauce)
(a baked dish combining crab with
mayonnaise or a sherried white sauce,
spooned into scallop shells,
and topped with Parmesan cheese and/or bread crumbs
and browned).
Lump crab meat is a combination of broken jumbo chunks
and whole body meat extracted from the shell.
It runs $15/pound.
Again, use lump for dishes where crab is the star,
for example crab cakes or as a topping
for other dishes. Backfin has the same flavor and texture of Jumbo,
but is a smaller piece.
It comes from the rear fin area
and contains some large pieces as well as broken, smaller chunks.
Back fin here runs $11.00/pound.
Backfin is perfect for use in crab cakes, salads,
dips, casseroles, or for stuffing. Special or white crab meat includes the meat
from all parts of the crab - legs, claws, and body. It's the smallest pieces of white meat,
with flakes of meat from the body cavity, and usually with more shell and cartilage in it.
Good for crab cakes, crab balls, salads, soups,and wraps.
White crab meat is good for crab recipes
that have multiple ingredients
mixed with mayo,
where the size and shape of the crab flake
becomes indistinguishable from the rest of the ingredients. Claw Crab Meat is the "dark meat" of the crab. It's a brownish-red color and has a stronger taste than the white meat. It has a firm texture and a strong crab flavor
which makes it ideal for dishes
with heavy sauces
or in soups, like Cioppino, and dips,
since the crab flavor still comes through. And, since it's easier to pick, it's the most economical.
Culinary Crab Tip:
When handling your crab meat,
do so very carefully so as not to break up the meat.
If you are combining it with other ingredients,
mix the other ingredients together first,
then gently fold in the crab meat.
(I buy the cheapest I can find for this dish. My pound was $9.00 claw meat.)
I put 4 tablespoons each of butter, cream cheese, and Brie cheese in my sauce pan.
Turned the heat on low and slowly melted.
I added in a few tablespoons more butter.
I squeezed in the orange and lemon juice.
After the butter and cheese melted, I added in the crab meat and heated through.
Handle your crab meat gently,
since the lumps are fragile
and you don't want to break it up.
I chopped some green onions,
red pepper, and red onion for the toppings.
I poured the crab meat mixture into my boule.
And it's ready for the oven. 350 degrees until the bread is toasted.
I had some vegetable kabobs leftover from what I made the other night.
And I had some marinated pork kabobs from the other night.
After about 20 minutes in the oven, I took the crab meat boule out ...
... and stirred in 2-3 tablespoons of sherry.
Then I added the toppings - the chopped red onions, red peppers, and green onion.
I sprinkled some hot paprika over the bread and popped it back in the oven for a few more minutes to crisp up the bread and heat up the crab meat.
In the meantime, Mr. Hawthorne grilled the marinated pork cubes and the vegetables.
I was sooooo hungry. I'd gone out to a horrific lunch today
(which I'll blog about soon) with Glowria and all the Little Xmaskaties, didn't eat the crap I was served and came home hungry and looking forward to a delicious home-cooked meal.
And I really wanted to eat this.
Really. I did.
But after cooking and plating everyone's food (Mr. Hawthorne, Daughter Hawthorne, DH's friend, and one of the Hawthorne Boys - I forget which one was off work), I proceeded to clean the dirty dishes since I can't enjoy a meal looking at dirty dishes and wipe the counters, and dry and put away the dishes. Then the trash can was overflowing, so I took that out. And this was Wednesday night and trash pick-up is Thursday, so I took the two garbage cans to the curb. Then I finally came inside to eat - my chores were done - and I walked in and there was ONE PORK morsel left. They had eaten almost everything. That was when I had my meltdown. Now, I'm sure nobody out there has become totally irrational and just LOST IT. But I did that night. And it was not pretty. In fact, I think (and hope) I became an embarrassment to my daughter since her friend Shitney was here having dinner. I curtly thanked EVERYONE for leaving me ONE PIECE of pork tidbit and with tears building up I left the building. And plopped my fat ass on my teak bench on my deck and watched the sun set. Quiet wetness streamed down my cheeks and throat. I didn't mean to cry. I haven't done that in a long time. But sometimes you just need to. It's MY blog and I'll cry if I want to. The stress for me in this household sometimes is just too great. The dogs. The kids. It builds up. And eventually it has to escape. So many times, I have been asked by my family, "Do you HAVE to sigh like that?" A very simple answer to that: Yes. I do. I'm like a pressure cooker. The sigh is like the tinkling/jiggling top to the pressure cooker. It releases some of the pressure. Just so my head doesn't explode and my brain is splattered all over the walls and ceiling. Why don't they understand that?
So I went outside on the deck. And sat.
And sat.
And sat some more.
I looked up and got the pretty of the umbrella.
And the sun got lower. Daughter Hawthorne came out with a plate of 1 pork piece, some Jasmine rice I'd cooked, some of the grilled veggie kabob, and part of the crab meat boule. I couldn't eat it. I couldn't appreciate her offer. I told her to take it back inside. Even though I was so hungry, leftover from the crap-ass lunch I couldn't eat at that damn restaurant today WHICH I WILL BLOG ABOUT SOON, I had totally lost my appetite.
The sun got lower. About this time I went back into the house and kitchen to apologize to Shitney for my melt down. I told her I considered her my family and as such, she gets the best of me and, sadly, the worst of me. She understood and gave me a hug.
Then I went back out and stayed on the deck by myself for about an hour. And all the Hawthornes were in the kitchen, washing dishes, drying dishes, putting dishes away, cleaning counter tops, scurrying around like little mice. Either they were all guilty or they felt sorry for me and pitied me. I don't freakin' care. Just clean up the damn kitchen and I'll be happy. This post was very difficult for me to write. It was very difficult for me to experience. And I don't usually do this. I don't expose myself like this. But this is my blog and this is a catharsis for me. It's cheaper than a therapist. I finally came back inside, composed enough to return Xmaskatie's phone call from two hours ago, when I absolutely could not talk to her. And Xmaskatie, you were like a dog with a bone, trying to make me feel better. I appreciate that. Truly I do. But there was nothing you could do to help that night. So I finally had to hang up on you. So sorry. At that point, I had my second melt down. I just sat my ass down in front of my lap top and stared at the screen. Damn tears again! What's wrong with me? I don't do this. Then I felt some arms around me. Someone comforting me. I thought it was Daughter Hawthorne. Then I heard her voice over at the table at the other side of the room. I asked her if she had her recording devices over there since she's been working on stuff with recorders for her graduate school projects and I'd taken pictures of the recorders for her Power Point presentation. Then I looked up and it was her friend (and mine) Shitney comforting me. Thank you, Shitney. I love you. Now there. I've just slit my wrists and bled for you. Sorry. But I'm sure no one else
out there has ever done this.
: )


Kathy said...

Poor Rosie. I wish I could be there to hug you too.


Garlicpbo said...

That just sucks.....It wouldn't happen but one time in my house. Sheesh! Have a little consideration guys.

Anonymous said...


As the lone cook in my house and the caretaker of all that dwell here in addition to working a full time job, I would have probably spent the night in a hotel I would have been so furious. You deserved every second of both meltdowns and the family cleaning up the kitchen was the LEAST they could do.

So there!

xo Ange in the WI

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks, Ladies.

Marilyn said...

{{Hugs}}, Rosie.

And what is wrong with our families? They have no idea what we do for them and what we put up with from them.