I admit, I took these pictures, like, a week ago, and I just never posted them. Since then, I’ve been on the go, and I haven’t had the time to blog. And I’m unhappy with my camera; I think sticking it into searing hot ovens and dipping it into churling steam-baths over boiling pots and pans and exposing it to splattering hot bacon grease has finally taken its toll on its fragile, bargain basement $150 chassis.
That being said, this repast was a red rock and roll boss crab grits recipe, ala Baby’s Boss Grits: one of our perennial favorites. And it. Was. Good.
Whole Foods had these babies for $4.99 a pound. I’d never seen them before, but they were these charming little clusters of crab legs and claws, with moderately easy shells to crack and peel, and plentiful sweet meat inside. I steamed them, then set them aside, so we could harvest all the pink and white tender thick short threads of succulent meat within them when we were ready to spoon them up with our grits.
I’ve used proscuitto, pancetta, bacon, salami, and even chunks of chorizo in this recipe, but my favorite is one of Whole Foods’ regular offerings: a lovely Jamon imperial. I tell the lovely lady behind the counter to cut it “pinky-thick”. That usually equals 1/4 pound.
I dice it into perfect little cubes.
And I slice up some scallions real nice like.
Then, with a little salt and pepper and a hot wok, I sautee my cubes of cured pork until they are nicely browned on each side.
My grits. I make 4 servings, according to the package directions. Yankees up here think of grits as some strange breakfast gruel, but I think of it as a perfect base, like risotto, or polenta, or pasta. This brand is pretty consistently good. I end up with about 8 oz, cooked, buttered, salted and peppered, and mixed with 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, for each of us.
After my pork cubes are seared on each side, I remove them from the pan and set on paper-towels to hold. I then add 1 cup heavy cream to the pan, and bring to a simmer. I add 1/2 cup ouzo and some sea salt and pepper, and bring to a low boil to thicken until my spatula holds a smear even after removed from the sauce.
How apropos that the movie du jour was Peter Benchley’s THE CREATURE; and what a moment to catch upon plating my dish. Again, my camera is on its last legs, so this picture doesn’t do justice to the dinner portrayed: my smooth thick bowl of grits supports a supple slathering of sweet fennel scented cream sauce, spattered with seared pork bits, and mounded with scallions, shredded cheese, and a smattering of paprika. The crab legs I serve on the side; we crack them, scoop out the sweet fat short threads of succulent meat, and spoon up some corn goodness before introducing the mouthful to our tastebuds. Warmth. Wholesome. Complex. Simple. Full-flavored. And fun to eat. What more could you ask for… for dinner? That mutant mammalian shark dude snapping on that poor unsuspecting adreneline junkie kid sure wants himself a bite. I kid you not.