Saturday, February 20, 2016

Roasted Crab Legs - Granchio and Artichokes with Melted Butter - Carciofi










     




Roasted Crab Legs - Granchino

The crab legs are usually pre-cooked and have only to be thoroughly heated through. This is an easy and totally delicious way of heating crab legs. The Bairdi or the Oppillo are fine. If you are using King Crab, you will have to increase the heating time.

16 crab legs (for 4 legs per person)
2 Tbsp. melted butter per person

Break off the crab legs from the body of the crabs. Discard the bodies and place the legs, (while still frozen on a rimmed baking sheet. They should be spread out so that the heat can circulate evenly around each leg. Place in a preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. Turn down the heat after after 7 minutes to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and roast another 10 minutes.

Serve each person 4 to 5 legs and give each person a small dish of melted butter to dip the crab meat into. Individual butter warmers make a nice presentation. I suggest that if you are serving children that you omit the butter warmers, as you could easily have an accident with the candles. The butter can be melted in the kitchen and poured into individual dishes or ramekins.

Serves 4

Give each person a crab cracker and pick or if you do not these, a regular nut cracker and pick work just fine.


Artichokes with Melted Butter - Carciofi 


An artichoke set on the table makes any meal look festive. Young children love the ceremony of dipping the leaves into melted butter and scraping the flesh with their teeth. My Grandson Leighton was only 2 1/2 when he was proudly showing me how to eat an artichoke.

1 globe artichoke
kosher salt for boiling the artichoke
2 Tbsp. melted butter per person

Bring a pot (large enough to hold the artichoke) to a boil and add the salt. Rinse the artichoke under running water with the top of the artichoke pointing up, so that the water will rinse away any sand or dirt that is between the leaves. Turn upside down to shake out the water. When artichokes are cut or trimmed they oxidize rather quickly. To prevent this, rub the cut ends with a cut lemon. If you are preparing only 1 artichoke and you work quickly you will probably not need to rub lemon on the artichoke. Cut off the last 1/2 inch of the stem and discard. Cut the stem off at the base (so that it will stand upright) and reserve the stem. Cut off the tough outer green peel on the stem and discard. Reserve the light tender flesh of the inner stem. Peel off the 2 tough bottom rows of leaves and discard. Lay the artichoke on its side and cut off the top 1 1/2 inches of leaves, so that the top is flat. Take a scissors and trim the points off of the rest of the leaves. Place the artichoke stem side down in the rapidly boiling water along with the reserved stem, and cover with an inverted heatproof lid to keep the artichoke submerged as much as possible. This helps to prevent discoloration. The lid should not completely cover the pot as you want some air over the artichoke. Artichokes may become bitter if covered completely when boiling. Boil for 35 to 45 minutes. The artichoke is done when the leaves pull out easily and the bottom is tender. Lift out of the water and place on a serving dish. 

Give each person a small dish of melted butter to dip the artichoke leaves and heart into. If you have individual butter warmers, they make a nice presentation. I suggest that if children are being served that you omit the butter warmers, as you could easily have an accident with the candles. The butter can be melted in the kitchen and poured into individual dishes or ramekins. This is how my Grandchildren eat and savor their artichokes. The traditional way to eat an artichoke is to pull off a leaf, and dip it into melted butter and scrape off the tender flesh with your teeth. When all the leaves are gone you will have reached the heart. Remove the hairy choke (which is inedible) with the edge of a spoon, and you have come to the heart, the most prized part of the artichoke. Cut it into however many wedges as people you are serving, so that each person gets a piece.