Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fresh Crab and Zucchini from the Garden - OLS Week 8

We are escaping a small portion of the heat wave in Portland by spending a few days at the coast. Alas, we have to return on Tuesday morning and I believe that Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted to be the worst days - somewhere in the vicinity of 102 degrees. But, at least we will have missed the high 90's days leading up to that. It's lovely here in Manzanita.

I headed to the Little Apple grocery store to look for some fish for dinner. They're pretty good about getting in a variety of whatever is in seasons and caught nearby. There was a sign on the door that said: "Crab Today". No further persuasion needed for me - we both love fresh crab. This was caught near Astoria and I brought home one nice sized crab for us to share. I basically did nothing other than clean it and melt some butter, an obvious additional benefit to eating crab - no cooking!

Ordinarily, we have a green salad and some sourdough bread with fresh crab. But, for this dinner, I did something different because of what we have and what was available. Our lettuce didn't fare so well with our three weeks away. So, Grady pulled up most of what was left and planted new starts. While we're waiting for those to be ready for harvesting, the zucchini in our garden has gotten itself ready. So, I had brought down a yellow zucchini when we came to the beach. Recently, we've sauteed and grilled it, so I decided to make a stuffed zucchini tonight. I carved out the center of each half of the squash. I sauteed the zucchini that was cut out, some mushrooms, part of a carrot and some green onions in butter and white wine. Then I added crumbs of some Grand Central Bakery bread and a little shredded white cheddar cheese. Put all this back into the carved out zucchini and baked them for about half an hour at 350 degrees. There was a fair amount of extra stuffing, which I baked at the same time.

Before baking....

...and after

I looked for some herbs to add to the stuffing, but couldn't find anything that seemed appropriate in spite of this selection:

Since we loan out the house to other friends and family, we end up with a random accumulation of spices and herbs - not necessarily what I need at any given moment. But, it's always a challenge to see if I can use up any of this stuff!

So, here's the local wrap up for this meal:
Crab - caught near Astoria miles north up the coast
Zucchini - our garden
Green onions and carrot - Deep Roots Farm, our CSA
mushrooms - probably not at all local (but I really wanted mushrooms in this stuffing)
cheese - Tillamook Aged White Cheddar (Tillamook is about 30 miles south of here)
bread crumbs - Grand Central Bakery bread brought from Portland
Sauvignon Blanc- from New Zealand (could probably have found something that was made closer, but we had this on hand in the cupboard here)

PS: In reading one of the comments about this meal, I realized that I was a bit careless in the use of the term "fresh". In fact, most of the time when we buy crab at a fish market or grocery store, at least around here, the crabs have been previously cooked - usually steamed or boiled. So, in fact, they are cooked when we get them. But, I think of them as fresh because they came in that day from where they'd been caught and because I don't have to cook them myself.


Anonymous said...

As a veg, I never knew that crab didn't need to be cooked, why is that? Also, I have a lot of zucchini that needs to be used, so wanted to ask: did you use dry bread in that recipe, or fresh? I have some dry bread that I'd love to use here...

ckw said...


Joan said...

Living: your comment was helpful in reminding me that I was using the term "fresh" rather liberally. I'm going to add a PS to the original post to clarify.