Monday, January 28, 2008

A crab feast!

Everyone feasts on crab, originally uploaded by jessicafm.

What happens when you gather a bunch of family and close friends, lay out a bunch of newspaper and buy a bunch of Dungeness crab? A crab feast!

Polly hosted a Dungeness crab feast at her house on Sunday evening. In attendance were Dad and Linda, Gregg, Bonnie, Jon and Laureen, Roberta and Eddie, Mark and I and, of course, Rozzie and Davey. Prescott was at an Warriors basketball game with Garrie, so sadly he missed out. We did turn on the game on the TV for a while, hoping to catch a glimpse of the boys.

So -- 10 adults and 10 crab. YUM. Jon brought homemade tartar sauce, regular hummus and sun dried tomato hummus (YUM) and meyer lemons from their tree. Polly supplied the crabs. Dad brought a huge bottle of French champenoise and bottles of wine. Bonnie brought cheesecake with cherries. Eddie and Roberta brought a couple of quiches and a big, frozen bottle of Skyy vodka. Mark and I brought salad greens, 2-1/2 loaves of Acme sourdough and homemade vegan lemon bars.

Yes, we stuffed ourselves silly and (most of us) enjoyed getting drippy and crab-covered hands and forearms. We've gotta do more of this.

As Davey's not allowed to have crab, we brought him some left over coq au vin for his supper, and of course, I made the lemon bars especially so he could have some.

Lemon bars

You know, those lemon bars tasted pretty darned great! Instead of the traditional lemon curd filling, which contains lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and butter, the recipe I used from The Joy of Vegan Baking called for lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, silken tofu, corn starch and flour. The texture was spot-on and the flavor was terrific. The crust, of course, contained vegan margarine rather than butter, and other than that was made of powdered sugar and flour. Simple and tasty. Yeah, the crust would taste better with butter -- what doesn't? -- but it still tasted good and it was totally Davey safe. Not only that, but Davey LOVED the lemon bars, and everyone else ate a whole lot of them as well. I'm glad I made a double batch!

Davey, Mark and Mark's hat

Lemon Bars

1/2c non-hydrogenated, nondairy butter, at room temperature
1/4c confectioner's sugar
1c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2c silken tofu (soft or firm)
1c granulated sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1/3c lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
2tb unbleached all-purpose flour
1tb cornstarch
Confectioner's sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan with canola oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with a light dusting of all-purpose flour.

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat until the dough just comes together. Press in to bottom of the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

To make the filling, in a food processor or blender, add the tofu and blend until creamy. Add the granulated sugar and blend until nice and smooth. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour and cornstarch and blend until smooth. Pour the filling over the baked shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To serve, cut the squares or bars and dust with the sifted confectioner's sugar. Wait until you're just about to serve the bars before sprinkling them with the sugar, otherwise it will soak in to the bars and become invisible.

Best eaten the day they're made.

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