On the hunt
As the pursuit of wild fish and game grows, so does the desire to prepare them
Into the wild: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reported that the number of American hunters increased between 2006-2011. Doubtless this is due in part to those inspired by the locavore movement. (Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune)
Cook: 20 minutes
Note: While Jesse Griffiths' "Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish," is very specific in the type of wild meat or fish used in each recipe, this is one where he cheerfully suggests using the picked blue crabmeat found at many fishmongers and supermarkets as a substitute for catching and cooking your own. In that case, Griffiths suggests using "as much crab as you desire."
6 to 8 live blue crabs (or 1/2 pound picked crabmeat or more)
1 pound linguine, spaghetti or other pasta
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Crushed red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 lemon
1. Rinse the crabs well under cold running water. In a large pot, heat 2 gallons well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the crabs; lower heat to a simmer. Cook, 5 minutes; turn off the heat. Allow the crabs to sit in the water, 5 minutes.
2. Remove the crabs; let cool, reserving the cooking liquid. Pick the meat from the crabs. Set aside the meat in the refrigerator.
3Strain the cooking liquid; heat to a boil. Add the pasta; cook just until tender.
4. Meanwhile, insert into the pasta pot a heat-proof bowl that is wide enough that the rim sits on the edge of the pot. (This allows the steam to heat the bowl.) Add the picked crab, butter, garlic, basil, a bit of red pepper flakes and the lemon zest to the bowl. When warm, and the pasta is done, remove the bowl.
5. Drain the cooked pasta well; add it to the warmed bowl. Toss, season with salt and serve immediately.
Per serving: 615 calories, 15 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 87 g carbohydrates, 30 g protein, 228 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.