Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The F Word is here...

Hey y'all, don't worry the F Word I', talking about is FOOD!

So, in addition to watching Good Eats, Naris and I have been following a British show hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay called "The F Word".  In the show Chef Ramsay cooks for a restaurant of 60 people using local and seasonal ingredients to make dishes you can replicate in your own kitchen.  During the course of the meal, there are vignettes featuring Chef Ramsay and his associates, one of the most controversial is a bit where Chef Ramsay encourages women Britons to get back in the kitchen!  To facilitate this, he visits the home of one woman each episode and helps her cook a meal for her family or friends.  While Chef Ramsay is often course in his demeanor and has been criticized heavily for his movement to get women back in the kitchen, I think that the tips, tricks and recipes he provides are useful to time crunch mean and women both.

The recipe for Crab Pasta was one of the recipes from series 1 of the show that really resonated with me as a quick and delicious dinner idea.  If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can watch the episode online for free, otherwise it costs $1.99 to stream (or set your Tivo for BBC America and see if you can catch it).  You can catch the instructional for the recipe at 27 minutes.  Since there aren't many measurements quoted in the show and the recipe is no longer on the Channel 4 (UK) website,  here is the best approximation I could make.

Crab Pasta - serves 2

4oz fresh pasta (tagliatelle, linguine or spaghetti)
1-medium-hot red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped (Whole Foods didn't carry red, so we bought green)
1- garlic clove, finely chopped (we like garlic in everything, so added this)
1- lemon
1/4 lb freshly cooked white crab meat
1 small bushel flat leaf parsley (about a 1/4 cup of leaves)olive oil for pan
salt for seasoning

Modus Operandi:
First, place a large pot on the stove to heat and fill it up with water, then add about 1/2 tsp salt.  Once the water has boiled, add pasta and cook for 6 minutes, then check for an "al dente" texture.  Your pasta should have a firm bite, but not be uncooked in the center.  Once pasta is cooked to your liking, drain using a colander and toss with a bit of oil oil to prevent sticking (as you'll see in the picture below, I need to take my own advice better!).  Set pasta aside for later incorporation.
Boiling the pasta
Draining pasta in colander, remember to rub it with oil after this!
 Set a large skillet on your stove and set to medium-high heat.  Grab your chili and a small knife.  Rub chili between your hands before cutting to release seeds and membrane from the skin, then skit down the side and remove seeds using your finger or by scraping the inside with a spoon.  Once the seeds and stem have been removed, chop your chili in to a brunoise* (a 1/16" square chop), set aside. Chop your garlic very finely, set aside.  Finally, chop the leaves of your parsley (omit the stems) into small shreds, set aside.

Place 1-2 Tbs of olive oil in your pan and wait for it to shimmer**.  Once the oil is hot, add the chili, garlic and parsley and saute for 1 minute.

Then add the crab meat and saute until warmed through.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the crab meat mixture.

Add your drained pasta back to the pan and stir to coat the pasta with the crab mixture.  Once incorporated, split the pasta in to two bowls and dig in!

The Verdict:

Jesse:  I thought this was a delicious dish, next time I will oil the pasta and use a thinner noodle, but aside from that I loved it!  At $9.04 per serving, this isn't an everyday dish, but it is certainly worth making from time to time.

Home cooking: 4, Restaurants: 2

Naris:  I liked this, but the pasta Jesse bought was whole wheat and I prefer regular.  I would make this again.

Home cooking: 5, Restaurants: 1

Until we cook again,

Cost Breakdown:

Unfortunately, my purse was stolen this week and it had the receipts for this meal's ingredients, but I will try to remember most of it off the top of my head so here is the estimate.
Fresh Pasta- $5.99
Chili ~ $0.30
Garlic ~ $0.15
Lemon ~ $0.80
Crab - $8.84
Parsley ~ $1.99
Total: $18.08 or $9.04 per serving.

* Check out this picture gallery of knife cuts at
** Heating your oil to a shimmering state helps prevent sticking in your pan, wondering how to check for the proper temperature?!?  See more details at

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