First a dish that I learned from James Castelli (the composer of the Theme of my 'Castelli Variations'). He is, on top of being a brilliant composer, a VERY good cook. This is one of his finest dishes, which I've adopted. For lack of a better name, we'll name this dish
In a large, deep pot simmer some (not all) of the garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, just to release the sweetness. Place the crabs in the pot (be careful, they snap at you!) and pour over them one at a time; the beer, the rest of the garlic, old bay seasoning, and the parsley. A quick aside here: James cleans the crabs under cold water before putting them in the pot. He also removes the claws from the body and guts the crabs. The advantage is that they release a bit more flavor this way. I prefer to put the crabs in whole for several reasons. One, they look better whole on the plate. Two, I enjoy eating all of the inside of the crab, not just the cluster meat and claws (This is not for everyone, in fact most people think I'm crazy for eating the guts. Still, I think it's GREAT!). Bring to a simmer (the alcohol will cook out of the beer) and steam the crabs for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, cook the pasta in rolling boiling water until al dente (slightly hard). When the crabs are bright red all over, remove them from the sauce and set aside. Drain the pasta and finish cooking it in the beer sauce (the pasta will soak up the hops and garlic flavor this way). Serve the pasta with the crabs sitting on top. Be sure to bring a bowl to the table for the shells. Enjoy!
Jim's Crab and Beer Pasta
- One package of spaghetti or linguine
- One dozen live hard shell crabs
- One bottle of beer (the darker the beer, the darker the color of the sauce)
- Lots of chopped fresh garlic
- Lots of chopped fresh parsley
- Old Bay seasoning
- Olive Oil
Serves 3-5 hungry people.
Here's another one for you. When I visited Germany I fell in love with this national standard. In New York City you can buy hot dogs from the corner cart vendor. In Germany you can buy this delicious snack in a similar fashion, and it only costs 3DM (about $2 U.S.). It may not be too healthy but hey, you know what's in a hot dog?!?
Take the cutlets and beat them with a tenderizing hammer. Don't have one? Use something heavy and blunt. The main point is to loosen the meat and make it more tender. Bread the cutlets with the crumbs, then place them in the egg wash, then back in the crumbs a second time (this will give you a better breading). In a pan, heat the oil to a very high, frying temperature. Fry the cutlets quickly for a crispy breading, flip over, then drain on a paper towel. Split the rolls, spread with mayo, and serve the cutlets sandwich style with L&T if desired. Yummy!
Wiener Schnitzel Sandwiches
- Four thin sliced veal cutlets
- 2 eggs and milk whisked together
- Bread crumbs
- Vegetable Oil
- 4 kaiser rolls
- Lettuce and Tomato (optional)
Makes 4 sandwiches.