Meals with Midgi: Sweet Flavors of Fall
Like most Alaskans, I love me some king crab. During the summer I frequent Tracy’s King Crab Shack several times in a gluttonous frenzy to get my fill before the season is over. I have also been known to dine on this savory crustacean at many of the other fine eateries in Juneau. One thing I’ve never done is make my own.
Recently, The Captain sent me a much appreciated text message, “King crab for dinner?” I quickly responded “Yes!” I imagined another feast at Tracy’s, but I was quite incorrect. He came home with two large king crabs, which we eagerly cooked up with our friends Michael and Elizabeth. I prepared them in my standard southern style, Low Country Boil. We had the kielbasa sausages, corn on the cob, potatoes and lots of Old Bay seasoning to give it that extra little kick.
I was also delighted to discover that one of my friends from Petersberg, Yancey Nilsen, was the provider of the feast. He is now going port-to-port with fresh Alaskan crab. To say I was doing the happy dance, is an understatement. Thank you Yancey for hearing my silent plea to bring affordable king crab to us in Juneau. I look forward to your return.
The evening of the king crab feast called for a celebration and of course dessert. The preparation of the crab is rather simple, and I was pleased to see the men take the lead in the cooking. The weather was magnificent, so Elizabeth and I enjoyed a glass of wine on the deck while the menfolk cooked. I could get used to that.
I was in charge of dessert. Early fall is stone fruit season and even in Juneau we get some delicious peaches and plums. I felt dessert needed to be simple to compliment the simple dinner. I decided upon stone fruit shortcake. Now I must offer full disclosure. I purchased pre-made mini angel food cakes. Elizabeth informed me these are not shortcakes and therefore I shouldn’t call them such. Ever the stickler for details, our Elizabeth is. After a serious discussion, I relented and agreed it wasn’t shortcake per se, but “stone fruit mini-angel food cakes” is far too much of a mouthful, therefore for the purpose of this recipe I’m using the term shortcake. Please call it whatever you like and if you do prefer to use actual shortcake or biscuits, I encourage it.
The peaches and plums were so sweet and juicy only a small bit of sugar was needed to macerate the fruit. I also used a chocolate balsamic vinegar that added a lovely extra depth of flavor. Any good aged balsamic vinegar will do. I highly recommend the aged vinegars at Panhandle Provisions.
After filling ourselves on the succulent king crab and accompanying ingredients, we sat back and savored these light, flavorful desserts.
This week I present a simple dish made on the fly that is a perfect end of summer treat, Stone Fruit Shortcake. I encourage everyone to enjoy these sweet flavors of fall.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
STONE FRUIT SHORTCAKE
2 large peaches, large diced
4 black plums, large diced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar (chocolate if you have it)
6 small angel food cakes
Combine fruit, sugar and vinegar in large bowl. Stir well and allow to macerate about an hour. No need to refrigerate.
Top cakes with fruit, drizzle sauce on top. Add whipped cream.
*I generally prefer homemade whipped cream, but we were pressed for time. It’s perfectly fine to use canned.