Friday, November 30, 2012

Crab & Artichoke Risotto

You guys, we're in my favorite CA holiday season. Football is on TV, Middlebar is packed every Sunday, Christmas tunes on wwoz, and most importantly, it's California Recreational Dungeness Crab Season.

Maybe next year I'll make it up to NorCal to actually trap some myself, like a good Louisiana girl should. But for now, I think I'll let the guys at Santa Monica Seafood catch 'em for me and I'll concentrate on the recipes.

Crab & Artichoke Risotto
2 tbsp butter
1 cup Arborio Rice
14oz of chicken broth
2-4 cups water
1 shallot minced
2 dill sprigs minced
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbl fresh lump Dungeness crab
2 tbl fried capers

Make your Risotto as per the usual (MiddleBar Directions): Melt butter with the 1 minced shallot until the butter is brown. Add rice and 1 cup of white wine. Bring to a slight boil stirring often. Add salt. Continue to add water and chicken broth slowly while stirring  for the next 30-45 minutes (do not be afraid to add more or less liquid as necessary to keep your risotto from drowning or drying out). Half way through cooking add the juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, 2 dill sprigs. The more slowly you add water and more often you stir will effect the overall creaminess of the dish.  Once the rice is al dente and most of the water is absorbed, remove from heat and quickly whip in cheese vigorously (some recipe's will call for butter at this stage as well but I find that there is enough butter to make it creamy enough but if you want it more decadent, please do not let me stand if your way).

In between stirring your risotto, peel a boiled Dungeness crab. In a small frying pan add a little olive oil and shallow fry 2 tbs of drained capers. When risotto is done, top with crab, lemon juice, a bit of fresh dill and a sprinkle of fried capers. Serve this risotto as a side dish (serves 4) or as a meal (serves 2).

I think you'll like it!

Enjoy Ya'll

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pickle of the Month: Cryin' Cayenne Beans

My cousin Jeanna had a very interesting point a few months back: In all the insane pickle combinations I put in the MiddleBar Bloody Mary, I was missing a spicy bean.
She was totally right.

To be honest, the only reason I don't have a spicy bean in my Bloody Mary is that spicy beans here in CA are freaking expensive! And with the way I consume those beans (I can honestly eat them a jar at a time) I'm going to go broke before the Super Bowl.

So with all my pickling, I've concocted  the perfect  spicy bean. There is a disclaimer on this one though. They are HOT, tear jerking HOT, make ya feel god HOT. (and they only get hotter day by day as they marinate in the fridge...) But they are an extremely delicious and wonderful accompaniment to your Bloody Mary, and for the right price!

Thanks Jeanna!

Cryin' Cayenne Beans are now available for purchase!!!!!

Please contact me at for more information

Enjoy Ya'll!