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  Serving Soup to Nuts for... oh... a couple of weeks now anyway  

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Monday, January 25, 2009


Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchen
     Friday, November 13, 2009     
An Outstanding Dinner on an Outstanding Day

     Sunday, November 8, 2009     
Just a few food photos.

     Saturday, October 31, 2009     
The Last Clamming of the Year

     Monday, October 26, 2009     

     A Year Ago Today     
     Garlic Crabs better than Bums     



Sunday, October 26, 2008


Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchen

Kelly's Garlic Crabs


Way better than Bum Rogers

Crabby
Ingredients:

> One dozen blue claw crabs cleaned ( see notes below ).
> Butter.
> Olive oil.
> 1/2 red onion finely chopped.
> 1/4 bunch parsley chopped.
> 1 head of garlic peeled and minced.
> 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
> White wine ( optional ).


Procedure:

> Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.
> Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and the onion.
> Stir the onion on medium heat until transparent,
> Add the garlic and parsley, turn the heat down and cover for a few minutes.
> Mix well and add the crabs, turning to coat them well.
> Add more olive oil, butter or wine as necessary.
> Cover and reduce heat to low for 2-3 minutes.
> Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, turn off heat. Cover until ready to serve.
> Serve in bowls with good bread and ice cold white wine or beer.
> Leftovers keep for a day or two and can be served over pasta, or as is.

Notes:

     Quite a few years ago a small kitten became trapped in a Maryland style crab trap a few streets over. I heard his cries for days before I found him. He was probably only two months old and it was a cold February and I was amazed he had survived. I got bit by him and had to get rabies shots because my dad didn't want to risk the kitten peeing in the bathroom where the cat in the trap was sitting in the bath tub until animal control could come capture him for quarantine. He made the guy take the kitten in the trap locked in the bathroom outside to put in the cage to take to quarantine and the cat not wanting any part of it made an easy escape. $2,500.00 worth of rabies shots later I had a crab trap to show for my trouble. The cat was fine and I can juggle rats for ten years if I so choose but that has nothing to do with crabs.

     Kelly wanted to try the trap so we put it in Barnegat Bay near where Cantaloupe the sailboat was moored and pulled in at least a dozen or more every time we set the trap. There's almost nothing better than sitting down to a meal of crabs and they quickly became a staple last-night-at-the-beach meal before I had to head back up north. One winter day after we were out of frozen crabs we stopped at Bum Rogers in Seaside Park. Bums has always been known for two things: Serving minors at the bar and... Serving the best crabs on the island. The garlic crabs we had that day were great. That meal made the whole beach trip and Kelly was able to reproduce, and improve on, the recipe with crabs she bought from the Crab Shack on Mantoloking road on day on a whim. This recipe is that recipe.

     We returned to Bums a year or two ago when the supply of crabs ran out and hoped to recreate the magic of the previous experience there. It was not to be. I would go so far as to say it sucked... Big time! The place was filthy. Everything felt greasy ( and I am far from fussy ) and sticky. Worst of all the crabs were lousy. We vowed never again and haven't since. We've been meaning to try the Seaside Crab House in the old Aztec motel on the boardwalk but... finances have been tight for longer than I care to remember. The good news is... It was a banner year for crabs so we dined on garlic crabs when Kelly came up to Connecticut for 2008 summer vacation. The Seaside Crab House says they have jumbos so we may have to splurge soon. The last time we had jumbos was at Skeeters restaurant in the Tuckerton Seaport Museum for Kelly's birthday about three years ago. Skeeters is gone now unfortunately so we need to find a new seafood eatery.

     Preparing crabs for garlic crabs is easy, but may not be for the squeamish. If your crabs are fairly lethargic they can be cleaned alive. This is not as cruel as it sounds since Mr. Crabby is separated from his brain in about a second so it's as effective as the guillotine and way better than the electric chair or lethal injection. Flip the crab over and pin his ( They should all be males, throw the girls back ) claws down. Lift up the pointed hatch-like structure on the underside of the crab and pull it towards the rear of the crab. Place your thumbs on the lower and upper shells at this juncture and pull the two apart, removing the top shell from the crab in one quick motion. Remove the feathery gills and rinse out the remaining miscellaneous guts under cold water. Break the bottom shell in half leaving two pieces each with three legs, a claw and a flipper. These "clusters" are ready to go into garlic crabs or the freezer.

     If you don't want to clean the crabs alive you can plunge them into boiling water to kill them and remove them immediately to clean or you can steam them. Place them crabs in as small a covered pot as will hold them. Put in a cup of cold water or wine or a 12 oz. beer. Cover the pot and turn the heat on low. The slowly increasing heat should make the crabs become drowsy and they should expire quietly. As soon as the pot starts venting steam, rinse them in cold water and clean as above. Be aware that you may hear them banging on the inside of the pot for way longer than you would like. Some times they don't go quietly.

Links:

Visit a Bum Rogers web page.
Try the Seaside Crab House instead and let me know what you think.


Boat Notes:

This is another great meal to make on a boat for a number of reasons. If you're in the right place at the right time, you should be able to catch enough crabs without any difficulty. The whole dish can be made with one pan on a grill or any kind of stove and a cutting board. The leftovers can be added to pasta for lunch the next day and... It's a great meal no matter where you serve it.






     Saturday, October 24, 2009     
A Corrected Chicken & Biscuit Recipe

The following recipe has been a Danger Kitchen favorite for ten years now. Seeing that it's never too late to change, it underwent a minor adjustment today while is was being made to correct a slight innacuracy. It was delicious as always! This was one of a flood of seasonal recipes that appeared in the first BIG Sandpiper issue in October 1999. Docktoberfest Dinner, Smoked Turkey, Hot Crab Spread, Roasters, Danger Kitchen Turkey Thighs, Pasta & Shrimp with Bourbon Sauce, Danger Kitchen Carrots and Indian Pudding round out the offerings and together would easily get you through a whole month of leaf peepin', fall hikes, late season fishing and cold windy beach walks. Enjoy!


Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchen Online Index available.

Serving Soup to Nuts for... oh... a couple of weeks now anyway.

Chicken 'n' Biscuits

Lots of work, but worth it.



This has been my favorite "Birthday" meal since I first tasted it a thousand years ago.

Ingredients

> 2 whole chickens.
> 4 onions.
> 8 carrots.
> 6 stalks celery.
> 8 cloves garlic.
> 1/2 bunch of parsley.
> 2 bay leaves.
> 2 or 3 cloves.
> 1 tsp peppercorns.
> 4 cups bisquick.
> 1 1/2 cups milk.
> 1 stick of butter softened.
> 1/2 cup parsley flakes.
> 1 can of creamed corn.
> 2 egg whites, beaten until stiff with some water.
> 2 egg yolks (from the egg whites). > 2 Tbsp Flour > Some flour and cold water.

How

> Put the first 9 ingredients in a pot and cover with water.
> Simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours.
> Remove the chicken from the broth.
> Strain and save the broth.
> Skin the chicken and pick from the bone in bite size pieces.
> Put the chicken pieces in a large baking dish.
> Thicken the remaining broth with some flour mixed in cold water.
> Simmer the gravy gently until thickened and pour over the chicken.
> Mix the bisquick with the milk and egg yolks until blended well.
> Knead the biscuit mix gently and roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
> Spread softened butter over the rolled out biscuits. Be generous.
> Sprinkle parsley flakes over the buttered biscuits heavily.
> Roll the biscuits into a long log.
> Refridgerate until ready to use.
> Beat the egg whites with a little cold water until fluffy.
> Mix 2 Tbsp flour into can of creamed corn.
> Mix the beaten egg whites with creamed corn.
> Pour on top of the chicken mixture in the baking dish.
> Cut the biscuits in 1 inch slices and place them on top of the corn mixture.
> Bake at 350 degrees until the biscuits are brown.
> Fill Plate. Eat. Repeat.


28 Off The Bone

Chicken off the bone.
Strain and save the broth for gravy.

29 Broth For Gravy


30 Kneading Biscuits

You need to knead biscuits.
Rolling out biscuits to 1/4 inch thick.

31 Rolling Biscuits


32 Buttering Biscuits

Buttering the biscuits with a thick layer of butter. Be generous with the butter.
Spread it on thick.

33 Spread It On Thick


34 Dump On The Parsley Flakes

Dump on the parsley flakes.
A good coating of parsley flakes is good.

35 Lots Of Parsley


36 Rolled And Ready

Biscuits rolled and ready for slicing. The biscuits can be refridgerated at this stage.
Put the chicken in a baking dish and cover with gravy.

37 Chicken And Gravy


38 Egg Whites Beaten

Egg Whites beaten until foamy with a little cold water.
Mix the creamed corn and egg whites together just until blended.

39 Egg Whites And Corn


40 Egg Whites And Corn On The Chicken

Egg whites and corn on top of the chicken and gravy.
Biscuits on top of the corn mixture and ready for baking.

41 Ready For Baking


42 Done To Perfection

Done to perfection.
Always make a double batch of this.

43 Double Batch



     Monday, October 19, 2009     
A way nicer day than yesterday!

     A Year Ago Today     
     The Danger Kitchen Cookbook is back!     



Danger Kitchen The Danger Kitchen Click here for the Danger Kitchen online cookbook page is back online after a long hunger strike. Find all your Danger Kitchen favorites and check back often for new ones. Look for a new format in the near future. It is time to remodel the Kitchen.




     Sunday, October 18, 2009     
Cold, Rainy and Miserable

     A Year Ago Today     
     Sandpipers, Chickens, Run Drinks and Politics     



Saturday, October 18, 2008


Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchen

Hot Buttered Rum


A great fall drink with a pirate flair

Ingredients:

>   3 shots of good rum.
>   Apple cider (almost boiling).
>   Lemon slice.
>   Cinnamon stick.
>   3-5 whole cloves.
>   Pat of butter. >  

Protocol:

>   Put the rum in a large tankard, stein or mug.
>   Add the cinnamon stick, lemon slice, cloves and butter.

>   Pour the hot cider over all.

>   Serve while telling stories around a fire.

Notes:

     This was one of my first ever takes-some-effort-to-make drinks. The first ever was a whiskey sour. The first time I tried these was a dark and stormy (no relation) night in Ocean Beach, New Jersey. We could hear the surf pounding and the wind howling. The comforting warmth of this drink can make all of that seem trivial.
     Goslings Black Seal rum works well for this recipe. Bacardi 151 is fine also; just adjust quantities to taste. Don't... under any circumstances... use Craptain Morgan. That's not really rum any way.

Links:

Visit the Goslings Rum website.
Wikibooks.org has a Hot Buttered Rum Recipe that looks interesting. I haven't tried it or the thousand others online. I like mine.


Boat Notes:

     This recipe can be adapted easily for making under way in rough weather , which is the perfect time for one of these. You can put all of the ingredients including, or except, the rum in individual covered containers to heat on the stove or in the microwave as needed. The lemon slice gets a little ugly after few hours in storage but still tastes fine. Add rum just before serving for a stronger drink. Best not to start drinking these if you're more than an hour from anchoring for the night.







     Friday, October 16, 2009     
Coldest October Day In Forever

The Taskin Bakery link is online now. It was accidently ommited from the Wednesday, October 7, 2009 entry titled A Pre-Clamming Beach Breakfast. This is good bread... Sorry I forgot the link.



     Thursday, October 15, 2009     
A Nor'easter brings snow to CT and NJ

     A Year Ago Today     
     A Ham & Cabbage Recipe.     



Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchen

Ham and Cabbage... Danger Kitchen Style


A traditional Irish meal... and more

Ingredients:

Cooks shank portion ham (The biggest one you can get)
2-3 heads of cabbage.
3-5 pounds of white potatoes.


Protocol:

Skin the ham and trim off a lot of the fat.
Rinse the ham well in hot water.
Put the ham in a very large pot and cover with hot water.
Place on high heat until boiling, reduce heat and simmer for at least two hours.
Trim, core and quarter the heads of cabbage.
Wash, trim and peel the potatoes (Peeling is optional).
Put the potatoes and cabbage in the pot with the ham and return to a rolling boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the cabbage and potatoes are tender... about 40 minutes.
Turn off the heat when done. The pot can sit for an hour before serving and still be hot enough.
Best served in large bowls with plenty of the broth on the side. Should serve 15 hungry people. Use a big spoon to dig out chunks of ham and cabbage and potatoes for each bowl. Cut up the ham and cabbage and mash the potatoes before covering with hot broth. Its great all mixed together.

Notes:

     Agnes Walter made the first batch of Ham and Cabbage I ever had. It was explained to me in great detail by her granddaughter Kelly Walter. I have to admit it didn't make too much sense at the time. The urge to make it into a New England Boiled Dinner was strong. Once I tasted it though I was convinced. Agnes Walter came over on a ship from county Cork in Ireland when she was eight. She's been here close to eighty years since then and has been making ham and cabbage the traditional way since the first time she made it. I have to admit that I put onions and carrots in a batch once as a test. Kelly was not amused. The results were not improved. Why try and change perfection?
     Agnes Walter uses a slightly different method. She doesn't cook the ham for quite as long and cooks the peeled potatoes separately. This may be due to her not having a large enough pot at the beach house. I've added some procedural enhancements to the process that extend the pleasure to additional meals. I slice a ham steak or two off a large ham shank to make Ham Steaks and Mashed Potatoes with. If you have a large enough pot, you have way more broth than you can use serving the ham and cabbage. Save the extra broth and freeze it if necessary. The broth makes the perfect base for pea soup instead of water. Don't be tempted to add any salt though, the broth is briny enough.

Look for a recipe for Ham Steaks and Mashed Potatoes soon.

Links:

Visit the Cooks Ham website.
Learn about County Cork by reading the Wikipedia entry.


Boat Notes:

This is actually a great meal to make on a boat for a number of reasons. Cabbage can stay fresh at room temperature for quite a few days. Cabbage can stay fresh for a month or more under refrigeration. Potatoes can last for weeks with no refrigeration. Ham is relatively forgiving when it comes to refrigeration. The whole meal is made in one pot. Seagulls will fight over the ham fat and skin. Crabs will be attracted to the ham trimmings. The ham is great on sandwiches for lunch, or egg sandwiches or omelets for breakfast... or cold right out of the cooler or refrigerator for that matter in rough weather.

Stay tuned for a Ham and Cabbage Soup recipe.






     Tuesday, October 13, 2009     
Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchen

  Serving Soup to Nuts for... oh... a couple of weeks now anyway  

  Check out the Danger Kitchen Online Cook Book for more than 71 recipes  
  J ' Eat ?  

      Danger Kitchen was due for a remodel and that process is underway. Tonight was the first step. It was way too windy and rainy out to work outside so... This is the result. The menu link at left now points to the new DK as well. The "Specials" blackboard will be back soon with archives and product reviews and all kinds of new stuff in the future. Danger Kitchen isn't just about survival under adverse conditions any more. There's been no illnesses, fires or explosions in quite a while AND... Professional chefs are now willing to contribute recipes (Suckers!). Stay tuned and even learn some of the reasons why it's called Danger Kitchen.

Go to the OLD Danger Kitchen (for a little longer).

     Monday, October 12, 2009     


     Sunday, October 11, 2009     


The Last Clams Get Steamed


Check out the One-Legged Sandpiper Clamming page.



Clamming Results
The Stats Get Changed

One gets by the goalie!


      Clamming is very rewarding and hard work so we always like to maximize our results. Keeping statistics is a very important part of the process. We seldom get clams that are too small (less than 1.5 inches) but it does happen. What happens WAY more often is that we find "fake" ones.
      Fake clams (our term) are clams that are buried in the bottom just like normal clams but the clam itself has died and been replaced over time with silt and muck. When you first hit them with the rake they seem the same as any other clam. Often they fall apart when you pick them up. Some times they make it into the bag, back to the house and some times even into the cooler.
      Twice now a fake one has made it much farther. The first time was a small one that was actually cooked into a batch of Clams Negra Modelo on the cold rainy first night of Kelly's 2008 summer vacation. Luckily it didn't spill any grit or muck into the dish. I have no idea how. The next time it happened was last night. A big one was scrubbed and placed in the pot with the rest and held together until I attempted to shuck it open after steaming. That's not uncommon since the clams on the bottom of the pot are crowded and weighed down by the others on top of them so they often don't open fully if at all.
      To add insult to the injury of a tough, tough September... We had to decrement the clam count by one. Luckily the rest weren't spoiled by this fake one. There was just a little grit o the bottom and I rinsed its neighbors as they came out of the pot to make sure. These will be the next batch of chowder, stuffed clams or maybe even clam hash at the beach in a few weeks. The revised stats are below.


Clamming Stats
Date Month Year Clams Rank Total Notes
06/29/02 June 2002 92 19 92  
07/06/02 July 2002 156 11 248  
07/22/02 July 2002 167 7 415  
08/10/02 August 2002 210 4 625  
08/23/02 August 2002 177 6 802  
09/14/02 September 2002 188 5 990  
? ? 2003 1 26 991  
? ? 2003 2 25 993  
? ? 2003 130 16 1123  
? ? 2003 166 8 1289  
? ? 2003 252 1 1541  
07/09/04 July 2004 13 24 1554  
07/10/04 July 2004 80 21 1634  
08/16/04 August 2004 103 18 1737  
10/01/04 October 2004 1 26 1738  
Date Month Year Clams Rank Total Notes
07/07/07 July 2007 53 22 1791 Back in the game after two years.
07/26/07 July 2007 104 17 1895  
07/28/07 July 2007 226 3 2121  
09/05/07 September 2007 164 9 2285  
09/26/07 September 2007 226 3 2511  
06/16/08 June 2008 154 12 2665 The earliest in the season ever.
07/07/08 July 2008 244 2 2909 Could have broken the record but had to get away from a thunder storm.
09/05/09 September 2008 133 15 3042 Farthest out yet, 6 or 7 places, 5 1/2 hours, Good luck north of the put-in on the east side.
06/29/09 June 2009 19 23 3061 Kelly by herself at the first area with no kayak. Almost lost the Clam Killer.
07/04/09 July 2009 142 13 3203 Made it back in time for the party at Matt & Shelia's house in Monterey Beach and fireworks at OB1. The park was closed temporarily when we got there. In the water by 2:00.
08/08/09 August 2009 135 14 3338 The latest start in the day ever: After 4:00.
09/05/09 September 2009 0 27 3338 The first ever with NO clams!!!
Couldn't get IN the park.
Tried by Wheelhouse Marina.
09/07/09 September 2009 158 10 3496  
09/25/09 September 2009 87 20 3583  
Date Month Year Clams Rank Total Notes


     Thursday, October 8, 2009     

The Last Night Dinner
Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This isn't a Danger Kitchen feature either but this LOOKED so good I wanted to capture the moment. Each beach trip has its own personality but there are some common factors and one of those is trying to make the last night special. Some times we head to the boardwalk. Some times we go out to eat. Many times we try and make a special meal. Lately our schedules warrant making the last meal easy and finances warrant making the last meal inexpensive. This meal was both but it was also spectacular. Pizza and antipasto. Kelly brought the pizza and antipasto ingredients back from Patterson after classes Tuesday. I was packing and loading and she was working on a project for 3D-Design class but she managed to construct a beautiful antipasto and served it in the serving dishes left over from my grandmother's every day set.

Check out Kelly's Garlic Crabs recipe.


     Wednesday, October 7, 2009     

A Pre-Clamming Beach Breakfast
Friday, September 25, 2009

This isn't a Danger Kitchen feature but this was SO good I want to relive the event again and again. The weather was cold and windy and we needed to wait a while to see if the wind would die down so... Time for a big breakfast. This can best be described as a Breakfast Torta... A Mexican inspired egg, potato, chorizo and grilled cheese breakfast sandwich that can kick an Egg McMuffin's butt! It was the perfect gut-bomb breakfast before trudging through knee deep cold water in howling wind for four hours.