Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crabby for good reason

There are two things that don't photograph well: Me in a bathing suit, and a soft-shell crab sandwich.

My husband & I needed gastronomic rescue after the olfactory insult of the putrefied lamb, so we ordered the Eastern Shore Po' Boy from Miss Shirley's Cafe. This is a generous Old Bay dusted ciabatta with 2 plump, juicy, cornmeal-encrusted soft shell crabs, applewood smoked bacon, sweet red and yellow tomatoes, mixed greens and remoulade.

Excuse me, I may just need to start smoking again. Baby, that was one good sammich!

Anyway, here's a photo of half a Po' Boy:

Where's the other half, you ask?


If you happen to be in Baltimore be sure to swing by Miss Shirley's. Their breakfasts are legendary, but unfortunately they don't accept reservations. Trust me; it's worth the wait. And carry-out is your friend.

Stay tuned for a photo-tastic description of my up-coming vacation to Provincetown, MA for the 2011 PIFF. We've rented a stand-alone cottage on the beach, so you may even be lucky enough to catch me in a bathing suit!

Oh...  Lucky, lucky you!

Eat a light lunch, people.

Stinky Shrinky Skanky Shanks

One of my newest, most favoritest blogs is Food Wishes.  Chef John inspires me on a daily basis with his easy-to-prepare video recipes.  You must check him out!  Sometimes I go poking around in the archives and stumble upon something new & delicious.  Such was my recent discovery of his Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks.  The video had me drooling, so I quickly drove to Wegmans and purchased a package of their FYFGA shrink-wrapped shanks.

Though I love all things lamb, this was my first shank purchase and I was excited to give Chef John's recipe a try.

I removed the shrink wrap from the shanks and P.U. -- the entire kitchen immediately started to stink.  I've never encountered this with other cuts of lamb, so I figured this "eau de manure" might be normal for shanks and would soon dissipate.  No - it got worse as they roasted, and everything in the house, including me, was coated in the sour stench.

In fact, when I dropped by my neighbor's house to let her trio of black labs out for an afternoon piddle they eyed me hungrily as if I were a ripe corpse.  I reeked of rotting sheep to the point that they wanted to roll on me.

Back in my kitchen again, the smell oozing out the front door, I could tell that things hadn't improved, even with the addition of 6 giant cloves of crushed garlic, fresh rosemary & thyme.  That's when I decided to save my marriage and toss the smelly, gag-inducing shanks out.

Do shanks typically smell like a flock of dysenteric sheep?  I had to know!  So I called Wegmans to get the poop, so to speak, and the butcher du jour agreed that lamb has a strong smell compared to other meats, but shouldn't be pervasive like that.  He said, "Sometimes stuff happens, gas gets stuck inside when they're doing the packaging, or maybe there was a little hole in the bag."

Gas, indeed.

So, word to the wise my foodie friends -- have your butcher open the shrink wrap before you buy!