Archive | September, 2011

Spud Point Crab Company at Bodega Bay

18 Sep

Spud Point Crab Company, Bodega Bay

While on a recent trip to Bodega Bay we decided to check out this tiny restaurant on the bay called the Spud Point Crab Company that we had read about on Yelp, figured it was worth a try.

According to their website: Spud Point Crab Company, which opened its doors on July 10, 2004, is a family-operated business owned by Tony and Carol Anello.  Tony has been fishing commercially for 35 years; Spud Point Crab Company is a dream-come-true for Tony and his wife, Carol.  Tony provides all the fresh fish from his own boat and that of his son and brother. Carol and daughter Lisa run the unique, 350 square foot shop.

Spud Point Crab Company is a truly old style Fishermen’s Wharf.  They catch and smoke their own “Wild King Salmon,” which is the best according to all that taste it. You can watch the live crab go into the large cooker that is right outside the shop. Watch them clean the crab you select. If you can’t wait to take the crab home, tables are provided outside — with a view of the boats and the bay — and tools to crack the crab, sauce, butter and lemon.

This little restaurant on Bodega Bay features Carol’s Famous Clam Chowder, voted best chowder 4 years in a row. Next is their Crab Sandwich with fresh picked crab meat and their homemade sauce served on a soft roll. They are also famous for their homemade crab cakes.

We decided to try their specialties, the chowder and the crab sandwich.  We ordered at the counter (there is no seating inside) then got our food and sat outside at the tables which had a great view of the harbor right across the street.

The clam chowder was absolutely off the hook delicious. I’m not usually a huge fan of chowder but theirs was outstanding.  The flavors were bold and tasty and had me hooked at the first spoonful. Once you start you cannot stop, their clam chowder was THE best I’ve ever had, and I’ve been to Boston several times… this chowder was better..  I highly recommend you stop by here and try the chowder if you’re ever in Bodega Bay.

The crab sandwich was equally good, and it was fully loaded with crab that was very tasty.

Everything hit the spot and we had a great lunch while in Bodega Bay.  I love finding small places off the beaten path that turn out to be really good.  The internet is a great resource.

Chowder with a View

Check them out at

Spud Point Crab Company
1860 Westshore Road
Bodega Bay, California 94923
707-875-9472

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on Wednesday.

Chicken Soup For The Soul

12 Sep
Grandma always said, “Chicken soup is good for you!”
When it starts to get colder and the weather is dreary and dark,  it makes for a nice setting to make a large batch of chicken broth.Cooking up a batch of broth always warms the entire house with a very nice aroma that lasts all day long as I slowly cook the broth on the stove for hours on end. Chicken broth is nice to have around – it’s used in a wide variety of recipes for soups and sauces that we make.

I like to make a big batch of broth and freeze it in small containers and jars to have on hand whenever a recipe calls for it. Sure I can (and do) use the packaged broth and the cubes to make broth, but to me, having home made broth is the absolute best, and its fun to make.
Chicken broth is good to make when you have left over chicken or turkey bones and parts from a prior dinner – why waste them? Make a good batch of chicken broth and you can get more bang for your buck out of your poultry and you’ll have some home made chicken broth on hand when you need it.
I found that occasionally the supermarkets have chicken on sale and you can get a whole chicken or parts (thighs etc 4-5lbs) for around $5 or $6 dollars, which will make about 5 quarts of broth.
My favorite, and what I consider a good basic recipe, is the one by Alton Brown. It’s got a good foundation and I like his ideas for techniques to get the most out of all the flavors.
Grab a very large pot that can hold 2 gallons of water, and a steamer basket
Here’s the recipe which can be found on the Food Network website

Ingredients

4 pounds chicken carcasses, including necks and backs

1 large onion, quartered

4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2

4 ribs celery, cut in 1/2

1 leek, white part only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise

10 sprigs fresh thyme

10 sprigs fresh parsley with stems

2 bay leaves

8 to 10 peppercorns

2 whole cloves garlic, peeled

2 gallons cold water

Directions

Place chicken, vegetables, and herbs and spices in 12-quart stockpot. Set opened steamer basket directly on ingredients in pot and pour over water. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer. Skim the scum from the stock with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes for the first hour of cooking and twice each hour for the next 2 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep bones and vegetables submerged. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours.

Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately in large cooler of ice or a sink full of ice water to below 40 degrees. Place in refrigerator overnight. Remove solidified fat from surface of liquid and store in container with lid in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or in freezer for up to 3 months. Prior to use, bring to boil for 2 minutes.

Use as a base for soups and sauces.

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