Alaskan King Crab Mac & Cheese

LZ introduced me to this online word game on Dictionary.com that tests your vocabulary after I told him the Dictionary.com layout recently changed (it did). He can’t tell the difference.

wordsiknow

I got all the words correct, with quite a bit of guessing! You have to sign in if you want to continue playing though :S

So on chu san, Xingyan came over to my house to play. LZ was supposed to be called up for his army mobilization on the CNY weekend but he didn’t get any notification, so he still had to serve on the Bethel worship team on sunday playing the guitar. XY came to Bethel too! And then we headed to Rokeby for lunch (surprisingly, it was open. Wimbly Lu was not though, so we couldn’t buy their Blackout cake back for dessert :( We got cream puffs from Beard Papa instead though! The current beard papa choux baker at Nex is pretty lousy.).

His parents were just going to TPY so they let us use the car, which means we bought quite a lot of groceries from the Nex NTUC :P There was an offer on frozen cooked Alaskan king crabs (apparently Alaska has outsourced its king crab production to Chile) – they were two for the price of one ($29.90) which was a steal.

We actually were intending to get the live mantis prawns – did you know NTUC actually sells live mantis prawns? wriggly large things with fluorescent yellow legs.


(photo from doublefood.blogspot.com)

A couple of Chinese students(?) came before us and bought the entire lot in the tank though (leaving just one, which is really inconsiderate imo. Who on earth would buy just the ONE live mantis prawn to cook? Can’t do anything with it.). Boo. I would have jumped at the chance to cook mantis prawn pasta.

That’s how we wound up deshelling two alaskan king crabs on my living room floor in the afternoon.

The Emeril Lagasse recipe called for live crayfish but NTUC was out of those. We tried contacting the Cold Storage in Yishun but LZ found the frozen king crab offer and so we stuck with that.


Not a lot of meat in the carapace!


The legs came out pretty cleanly. The trick is to cut quite a big slit (you can use some heavy duty kitchen scissors) in the largest segment nearest to the next segment, clip the next segment with your scissors, and pull the leg out whole from the shell. You can repeat this for the next few segments. Be sure to remove the tendon (?) the plasticky tape like segment running through the middle of the leg.


Here were all the implements we used :P The scissors were the most useful – the king crab is super spiny and thus pretty well protected from predators! Even those trying to eat it when it’s dead.


The resultant mac & cheese (we used pasta shells – bad idea! The shells tend to nest in each other – you can get up to 5 layers of shells nestled in each other, only the outer layer of which is covered in sauce) was baked in the nice gratin dishes I scored from Franc Franc for $6.30 apiece! Shall go back and buy two more tomorrow. They worked marvelously and are microwave,oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe. One of the best ideas in this was my pounding up some croutons with my mortar and pestle to use as bread crumbs. It’s not real easy to find bread crumbs here – most people just use panko or tempura crumbs. I didn’t bother mixing a batch of Emeril’s Essence, just threw in some garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, and grated parmesan.


Served it up with some sliced tomatoes and basil (I was a bit heavy handed with the salt grinder) to cut through the creaminess of the pasta.
Verdict: I don’t really like Emeril’s recipe, although that could be because I swapped up the cheeses. Probably less flour/milk could be used, and more cheese? The whole thing was a bit on the dry side already though, which could be due to my cheese not really melting properly.

His recipe also makes 8 servings, which obviously my family can’t finish and it’s a bad idea to reheat seafood. The little bay scallops we added were already overcooked! I also cut the oven timing from 45 mins to 30 mins. I’m still on the lookout for a good mac & cheese recipe. I tend to think some sherry/white wine would be nice, and would be much obliged if the Disgruntled chef told me how they did their crayfish mac & cheese, which is fantastic.

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