For Foodie Friday’s second interview, I’m featuring my mom and the amazing seafood stew from Bon Appetit that she made a few nights ago with my sister.
They altered a few elements of the recipe, most notably substituting fresh clams and crab for the bland canned varieties the recipe calls for. Recall from October’s post How to Shop at the Butcher that you can ask your fishmonger to do most of the unsavory work for you beforehand, including removing internal organs and gills, and cracking most of the legs.
Also, they substituted clam juice with half the amount of low sodium organic chicken broth and recommend using unseasoned canned tomatoes, as the recipe is already very salty.
Below, I ask for more tips. The responses are typical of my mom:
FF: Why did you choose to use fresh seafood?
Mom: It makes a difference in taste, as well as appearance; plus, crab is season. (Somewhat incredulously, shaking her head at the whims of American shoppers) I don’t buy crab meat in a can. Growing up on an island, it was unheard of to buy canned crab or canned clams.
FF: What else did you change?
Mom: I don’t really remember. When I look at a recipe, I only look for inspiration, ideas; I don’t follow the exact amount — you know, three cups, blah blah blah. Actually, I am incapable of doing that because I always like to reduce the butter, reduce the salt.
FF: You mentioned that this recipe comes out a bit salty. In general, what are good tips to curb an already-salty dish?
Mom: You could add potatoes, celery, or other root vegetables to dilute it a bit. But make sure the vegetables don’t get overcooked.
FF: How can college students eat seafood on a budget?
Mom: Of course, seafood has to be very fresh; you don’t want to buy seafood just because it’s on sale. You have to go with the seasons. Right now, crab is in season. In Asian markets, it’s even cheaper, and it’s live, so you know it’s fresh. My friends go to Half Moon Bay and buy seafood directly from fishermen there. But of course gas is so expensive, you probably don’t save that much money.
Thanks, Mom! <3