Baked Dungeness with Paprika & Garlic Butter

January 21, 2015 § 1 Comment

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Hello friends – I won’t apologize for my long silence, because I know you understand the predicament of desire vs. time when you’re a grown up. But today my desire to write and my free time have happily collided. So, let talk about Dungeness crab, quickly, before this precious window closes…

Winter in the Pacific Northwest has many well-documented downsides but the silver lining is pristine seafood. It took me a few years to catch on to this, but now I travel with an oyster knife in my Subaru’s dashboard – toujours prête. Local oysters are spectacular in the winter, and they can be bought for a song at quick marts in tidal communities, as long as you know how to spot a fresh oyster. Or, if you’re not a risk-taker, head to Mutual Fish on Rainier Avenue. They’ll sell you delicious oysters for half of what you’ll pay in a restaurant and happily give you a shucking lesson, I’m sure.  Oysters are a treat, but Dungeness crab is a winter dinner staple at our house. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to catch our own in Puget Sound, but Mutual or the grocery store is always stocked with cooked crab, and they’ll clean the suckers for you. This means you can walk out the store with your fully prepared dinner in a bag – serve the crab cold with a few simple sides and it’s faster than picking up a pizza.

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It’s still dark terribly, terribly early in the evening (afternoon, really) here in Seattle. That calls for a hot dinner – something in the oven that will fill the house with rich smells and drive the children into the kitchen asking what’s for dinner, when’s it ready, what’s for dinner again and again and again. « Read the rest of this entry »

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