The Eclectic Quill

Website of Joshua McGee

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Posers and Republicans

nirvana-christianity-poser-republican-eclecticquill-mcgeekiest


This is a Nirvana T-shirt

If you:
Don't own any Nirvana albums
Hate women, gays, or minorities
Detest rock music
And call yourself a Nirvana fan anyway…

Then fuck you, poser

This is a Christian Cross

If you:
Deny rights to the vulnerable
Ignore the sick and needy
Despise immigrants
And call yourself a Christian anyway…

Then fuck you, Republican

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Cangrejo (River Crab) Potato Chowder Recipe

finished-soup

Cangrejo — river crab — are a specialty of Guayaquil, Ecuador.  You buy them live, in bundles.  At the peak of season they are $1 USD apiece.

These are cangrejo

These are cangrejo

Cangrejo parties are a common feast, where the crab are cleaned, killed, and boiled with seasonings to be pounded apart at the table.

Cangrejo party!

Cangrejo party!

The prized portions of cangrejo are the guts, the claws, and the large legs.  There is meat inside the abdomens (the equivalent of "lump meat" in an ocean crab) and inside the spindly legs, but I don't consider them worth the effort to open and eat.  I just gather those bits (without the carapaces) and take them home for stock.

If you don't want the pictorial guide, feel free to skip ahead to the complete recipes.

To begin your stock, remove the feathery gills and the beaklike appendage from the abdomens and cut them down the center.  If they are very large, cut the halves in half again to expose more meat.

Crab abdomens

Crab abdomens

Add to a heavy pot with the spindly legs.

Crab abdomens and legs in the pot

Crab abdomens and legs in the pot

I like to rinse and drain the crab in the pot at this point, but I'm not sure if that's strictly necessary or even helpful.

Cover with 2 - 3 quarts of water — whatever it takes to just cover the pieces.  Bring to a rolling boil, skimming and discarding any foam that rises.  Reduce heat to a fast simmer.

Crab pieces coming to a boil

Crab pieces coming to a boil

Add your vegetables and seasonings (the full recipe is after this image gallery.)

Your veggies and seasonings

Your veggies and seasonings

Give everything a good stir and cook at a rapid simmer for an hour.

Simmering stock

Simmering stock

Taste the stock after the hour.  If it's weak, cook it longer (up to 20 minutes more).

Strain your stock, first through a fine colander, then through a fine-mesh sieve. 

There you go, your stock is done.  Now it's time to start your soup.

Clean and dry the pot and add 2 Tbsp of canola oil.  Heat over a medium-high flame, and add the diced onion and celery.  Cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.

Diced onions and celery in the pot

Diced onions and celery in the pot

Add the diced potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for another five minutes,

Potatoes added to the pot

Potatoes added to the pot

Add 8 cups of your fresh crab stock and the dried parsley and bring to a gentle boil.  Cook for ten minutes, until the potatoes start to get tender.

Soup before milk

Soup before milk

Whisk the flour into the milk and add to the pot, stirring as you pour.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

Soup after adding milk

Soup after adding milk

Turn off flame and transfer half of the soup to a blender.  To prevent splashing, don't fill your blender carafe more than 2/3 full.  Blend until smooth.

Half of the soup, blended

Half of the soup, blended

Add the blended soup back to the pot.  Turn on flame and warm the soup again.  Extinguish flame and stir in cream.  Add salt to taste.  To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top with grated Parmesan.

Cangrejo (River Crab) Potato Chowder

The soup served!

Here are the recipes.

Crab Stock

  • 2 lb cangrejo abdomens (halved) and spindly legs
  • 1 large white onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2 stalks celery, leaves removed, chopped coarsely
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato guts (from the last time you made marinara sauce, perhaps)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 dried bay leaves, edges torn
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Remove the feathery gills and the beaklike appendage from the abdomens and cut them down the center.  If they are large, cut them in half again to expose more meat.

Cover with 2 - 3 quarts of water — whatever it takes to just cover the pieces.  Bring to a rolling boil, skimming foam as necessary.  Reduce heat to a rapid simmer.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.  Taste after the hour, and cook for up to 20 minutes more if the stock is still weak.  Strain the stock, first through a fine colander, then through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.  Clean the pot for the chowder.

Cangrejo (River Crab) Potato Chowder

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 - 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 medium, firm potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 8 cups of crab stock (recipe above)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flower
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

Add 2 Tbsp of canola oil to a heavy pot.  Heat over a medium-high flame, and add the diced onion and celery.  Cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the diced potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for another five minutes,

Add crab stock and the dried parsley and bring to a gentle boil.  Cook for ten minutes, until the potatoes start to get tender.

Whisk the flour into the milk and add to the pot, stirring as you pour.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

Turn off flame and transfer half of the soup to a blender.  To prevent splashing, don't fill your blender carafe more than 2/3 full.  Blend until smooth.

Add the blended soup back to the pot.  Turn on flame and warm the soup again.  Extinguish flame and stir in cream.  Add salt to taste.  To serve, ladle into soup bowls and top with grated Parmesan.

I owe a great deal of thanks for help and inspiration for this post to recipes at Epicurious and The Pioneer Woman.

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Faith from Fable

"How proud are you, being able to gather faith from fable?" — Layne Staley

"How proud are you, being able to gather faith from fable?" — Layne Staley

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Facebook “Like” button is lower than Twitter and Google Plus buttons

By default, the Facebook "Like" button will be misaligned relative to other social buttons:

facebook-like-button-too-low

The fix is to add this to your CSS:

.fb_iframe_widget span {
  vertical-align: top !important;
}

… and you should be good to go:

facebook-like-button-just-right

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Something fueled by words I learned to hate

I was never the right one to bear the weight of something fueled by words I learned to hate. -- Myles Kennedy, Alter Bridge

I was never the right one to bear the weight of something fueled by words I learned to hate. — Myles Kennedy, Alter Bridge