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Author: Subject: Christmas Dinner: Smoked Crab Stuffed Halibut
Lobsterman
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[*] posted on 12-25-2015 at 10:07 PM
Christmas Dinner: Smoked Crab Stuffed Halibut


A couple of weeks ago I caught a 18 lb halibut in San Diego Bay about a 1/4 mile from my mooring. The family ate the thin smaller pieces and I vacuum sealed and froze the thicker ones.

For the Christmas Dinner the family wanted halibut instead of the prime rib I already purchased, so I thawed out a few of the largest pieces and decided to smoke the halibut low-and-slow at 230 degrees and stuff it with king crab meat leftovers from the previous night. As I do with most dinners I use what I have and try to make a dinner out of it like the TV show "Chopped". In fact we have Chopped nights frequently like my mother did to feed us hungry five kids growing up. This is the recipe I came up with the frozen halibut I had. I hope to catch some halibut in San Lucas Cove when I visit there this May. The last time I was there I caught a bunch of brown "blue claw type" crabs that were delicious. I'm bringing my smaller weber smoker with me. Here's the recipe before I forget it.

4 halibut steaks about 4-6 oz.
1/2 lb crab meat
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup brandy, sherry, tequila, or vodka (I prefer brandy)
2 tbs soya sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1-2 tsp tarragon, parsley or cilantro, chopped
1 cup salted butter (2-sticks)
2-3 lemons cut into 1/8 " slices

1. Halibut Steaks: slice a pocket in the halibut steaks almost all the way through. Stuff with crab meat so its heaping and top with tarragon.

2. California Basting Sauce:
In a small pot add lemon juice, brandy, soya, brown sugar and garlic. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. In another pot melt butter. Cover both and save.

3. Prep Halibut & Crab Steaks: Dip halibut and crab steaks bottoms into melted butter and place on lemon slices. Put 1 tsp melted butter onto the crab stuffing. Place on plate for smoking, BBQ or oven.

4. Finish Basting Sauce: Add melted butter to the rest of the CA basting sauce. Keep warm.

5. Smoke: Heat smoker to 230 degrees. Placed halibut steaks on lemon slices onto smoker or grill. Heat the halibut steaks to 125 degrees about 30-45 minutes depending on thickness. Baste every 10 minutes. Place on a warmed plate, cover with aluminum foil and serve immediately.

6. Pass the remaining basting sauce with dinner.

7. I served this "chopped" dinner with leftover congri', recipe is somewhere in the BN archives, green beans, corn bread stuffing (box) and leftover KFC coleslaw.







[Edited on 12-26-2015 by Lobsterman]
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Santiago
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[*] posted on 12-26-2015 at 07:00 AM


LB's Congri Recipe - OUTSTANDING

Congri’

This unusual black bean and rice dish was contributed to Cajun-Creole cuisine by the Spanish. I was taught this recipe by my next door neighbor when I lived in Puerto Rico in the 1980’s and have modified it to local easy to obtain ingredients. It has a complex, somewhat mysterious Caribbean taste. I vacuum seal the leftovers and freeze for another day. Just boil the packages in water.

Bean Mixture:
4-(15 oz) cans black beans (not drained)
1-(14.5 oz) can tomatoes diced (drained)
3-tbsp balsamic vinegar
2-quarts quality beef broth (in box)
2-green bell peppers chopped (or red, yellow, orange for color)
2-tbsp ground cumin
2-tbsp cumin seeds
1-tsp fresh ground pepper
2 medium jalapeno peppers minced
1 habenaro pepper minced
1-tbsp sugar
2-bay leaves
1-ham bone or ham hock or left over ham
1 lb pork chorizo (soft in tube kind found at Vons, Albertson, its a thickener)

Rice Mixture:
¼ cup olive oil or bacon fat
1 lb anduille sausage or other hot sausage cut in bite size pieces
1-large sweet onion chopped
5-cloves garlic minced (more if desired, BAM!)
3/4 cup long grain rice

Serve with sour cream & chopped green onions.

Bean Mixture: Heat a 7-quart pot on high and combine the black beans, tomatoes, vinegar, beef broth, bell pepper, cumins, black pepper, jalapenos, habenaro, bay leaves, sugar, and ham bone. When brought to a boil reduce heat to a hard simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rice Mixture: In a 12” heavy pan add olive oil at medium high heat. Just before smoking, add the garlic and saute' for 10 seconds. Add the onions cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes add sausage. Cook until onions are just translucent (soft) about 5 minutes longer stirring constantly. Then add the rice and continue to cook on medium high heat for 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Bake Combined Mixtures: Add the rice mixture to the bean mixture in a 7-quart pot. Push in 1" dollops of chorizo into the mixture. Put in a preheated 375 deg oven. Bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes. The mixture will continue to cook once removed from oven so rice should be al dente when taken out of the oven. Stir 2 times during baking.

Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Keeps in the frig for up to 14 days or vacuum seal the leftovers.

Notes from LB to me and answers to my questions via an old U2U on how he varies the above recipe:


Congri' is a Caribbean dish that uses what is leftover in the frig into a meal that will last for a week. It takes a couple of days to reach its prime so its great to make a day or two before a party and just reheat.

There is no specific way to make congri'. I make it differently each time because of the ingredients I have in the frig that need to be used before they spoil. The basics are the bean boil, the onion sauté and the combined mixture bake. Just yesterday I made a chicken congri'. To answer your questions:

1. I put the chorizo in the Bean Mixture at the beginning of the boil and not just before the baking portion.
ans: There are many kinds of chorizo both hard and soft. I put the hard kind in the boil to add flavor to the bean mixture. I push dollops of the soft chorizo into the combined bean & onion mixture just before I place it in the oven. It will dissolve and add great depth and thickness to the congri'. I prefer the soft chorizo. The hot sausage adds the crisp bite to the dish so soft dissolving chorizo is the one I prefer.

2. I left the ham hock in during baking, but never cut it up, de-boned and put back into the mixture. If you use a ham hock would you have done this or is it mostly for flavor?
ans: The ham hock is for flavor. If I use one because I usually do not cuz of cost, I will remove it before combining the mixtures, break it up in pieces and add it back into mixture before baking.

Chicken Congri'
Follow basic recipe except:
1. Cover with water cut up pieces or a whole chicken. Add chicken flavoring to water to make a chicken stock. Bring to boil and turn down heat to simmer. Simmer (poach) for about 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken and cool to touch. Save the chicken broth and substitute it for the beef broth.

2. Shred the chicken by hand into 1" strands. I like chucks of shedded chicken not little pieces. Place shredded chicken into bean mixture boil for the last 10 minutes to allow the chicken to absorb the flavor.

3. Last night I added small cooked shrimp to the combined mixture bake the last 10 minutes of the baking process.

Also great for burritos.

I also add twice the amount of cumin as the recipe calls for cuz I love cumin in many of my dishes.

Hope this helps,
Dennis
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Lobsterman
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[*] posted on 12-26-2015 at 08:41 AM


Thanks for refreshing my memory on Congri'. I'm glad you enjoy it. You use twice the cumin. I'll try that for my wife's Jan 1 retirement party cuz she loves the taste of cumin as well.

At the retirement home I volunteer to cook for 4-5 times a year, Congri' is their favorite dish they keep asking for. The chefs at the home asked me for the recipe after December's lunch. I just multiplied the above recipe times 2 but without any chili-heat. I served it with three 20-hour smoked briskets & their Burnt-Ends (16lb each) on the pictured REC TEC wood-fired smoker along with smoked Mac & Cheese, tangy coleslaw and fixings. My wife retires from that home Jan 1st but we plan on continuing our tradition there. Cooking for people and the joy on their faces from tasting my wares gives me great joy as well, especially during the holidays.

Happy Holidays
Dennis

[Edited on 12-26-2015 by Lobsterman]
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desertcpl
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[*] posted on 12-26-2015 at 10:20 AM



Oh my to both,, YUM
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TMW
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[*] posted on 12-26-2015 at 11:05 AM


My My what a great dinner, thanks.
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