Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Crustaceans and Shellfish (and mollusks, too)
I have a lot to thank Jesus, the Good Lord Christ of Nazareth for. Forgiveness of my horrible, sinful life is a big one. But almost as big is the relaxation of the dietary restrictions of the Jews. I know the Chosen People have been through a lot, but when I think that they can never ever have a shrimp cocktail or a king crab leg, that's when I weep for them.
I ask you, is there a better, lighter, fresher appetizer than the shrimp cocktail (pictured here as cooked and plated by the author for his wife's birthday)? And is there a richer, creamier appetizer than the mussels in a white wine and cream sauce (likewise prepared and pictured)? With the shrimp the pleasure of the sweet shellfish meat mixes with the tart sauce to invigorate the tongue and prepare it for awesomeness to come. While the mussels dish is more of a soothing, enveloping taste . . .a blanket of deliciousness meant to please and comfort.
But those two are the younger siblings, the fun little sisters you briefly date before realizing that the older sisters have a lot more to offer. And of course I mean crab and lobster. Not just any crab or lobster, but King Crab from Alaska and Maine Lobster. As a young child, my parents would always go to Myrtle Beach as a vacation, as did every other suburban white asshole. I hated it. I hated tanning, I hated the heat, I hated being away from friends. But I loved the Gullyfield. The Gullyfield, now sadly out of commission, was a plantation-style seafood joint wherein I first learned the pleasures of king crab legs. So sweet and meaty that you can eat them on their own . . .but with a little melted butter makes the tastegasm even more intense. I recently discovered that if you buy too many to make for you and your wife, you can mix the meat up with some mayo and toast some buns and have amazing crab rolls, sometimes even more pleasurable than the original serving.
As I mentioned before, my wife and I took a vacation up to "downeast" Maine on a lobster roll tour. For those that don't know, a lobster roll is a bunch of lobster meat mixed up with either mayo or butter (depending on region) and set in a toasted, buttered hot dog bun, or something like it. It's also the king of foods, or at least prince regent. But this prince regent's fancy sash isn't just a fancy sash . . .it's a black belt for awesomeness. If you've never had a lobster roll, a really good one, it's kind of like Audrey Tautou giving you a bj while Angelina Jolie licks your butthole, Bacchus himself pours great whiskey into your mouth and brain, and George W. Bush cleans your bathroom all at the same time. It's that good. It pretty much justifies the existence of New England inspite of all the weird yankee rednecks and puritans.