25 Oct2011

A simple salad of quickly poached shrimp, baby squid and crab meat chilled and laid out on a fish platter. Drizzled with lobster oil, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and garnished with freshly chopped italian parsley. This was EXCELLENT. The lobster oil, a lovely and unusual gift from our trip to Vancouver, is just amazing. The flavor infused into the lovely orange oil is unlike anything I have tried before. And it really worked in this simple salad. It made the ordinary truly extraordinary. We didn’t use too much of it, so there is lots left for other experiments, mindful that it doesn’t last long once opened… Thanks CWID.

We started the festive evening with some bubbly, a bottle of prosecco for a toast to lots of things… :) The orchid is one of several raised in our garden and that is currently in full bloom.

A small clear bowl filled with more lobster oil was meant for dipping pieces of bread into to get more of that intense infusion of lobster flavor along with bits of lightly poached seafood.

With the seafood salad, we also put out a platter of organic chicken livers with butter and brandy and topped with salad of wild arugula and radishes. I have featured this dish before, and it was a special request of two of the guests that evening. Maybe I should have tried using turkey livers instead to keep in theme for the night… :) Friends who had just arrived from Canada, and who were previously amused by the amount of food we had in our luggage from our recent trip there, themselves carted back an entire side of maple smoked salmon, and shared it with us for the dinner. The salmon was delicious, less salty than other smoked salmons I have had, but not cloyingly sweet at all. It was beautifully textured as well. I was busy with the last minute flurry of cooking (the best laid plans and mis en place gone awry) in the kitchen, so guests helped themselves to appetizers and completely wiped out this spread before you. It’s amazing they had room for dinner! But then again, our guests seem to have trained themselves to come truly hungry… :)



  1. Girl golfing says:

    Oh wow, i can almost taste all of this. Your guests are so so so lucky….

    Oct 25, 2011 | 7:58 pm


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  3. Chinky says:

    looks really yummy, MM! What ‘s a good substitute for the lobster oil with the poached seafood salad?

    Oct 25, 2011 | 7:58 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    Chinky, good olive oil would work, and if you have it, add some bits of orange crab fat…

    Oct 25, 2011 | 8:01 pm

  5. Chinky says:

    Ummm, crab fat and olive oil–sounds deadlybut good. Do I just poach all the seafood?

    Oct 25, 2011 | 8:20 pm

  6. Marketman says:

    Chinky, steam the whole crabs and let them cool, peel and store the crab meat in the fridge until ready to use. Brine your shrimp for an hour if you like, or not, and boil a pot of water. Slip the shrimp into the water, and after about 30 seconds turn off the flames and let the shrimp poach for about 2-3 minutes until just done, depending on size. Let these cool and peel, devein if necessary. Best to store them at room temperature or in a cool area as putting them in the fridge can toughen them up. Do the same for squid. Assemble on a plate, drizzle with oil and lemon and parsley, season with salt and pepper. If you like add some dried chili flakes to the oil/lemon mixture for added zing.

    Oct 25, 2011 | 8:26 pm

  7. betty q. says:

    Chinky…if you are going to use crab as per MM’s suggestions, save the shells after steaming as well as the shrimp/prawns shells after poaching them. Then in a large roasting pan, add carrots, celery and onion chunks. Do not add too much of the tres gulay or it overpower the essence of the crab/prawn shells. Add also a smidgeon of tomato paste and top the shells with it. NOw, roast them in the oven say for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then dump everything in a pot and add a fair amount of canola oil. Let that simmer on the stove until you can smell the aroma wafting in your kitchen. Let it cool. I prefer to let it overnight. Then use a double cacha and strain. If some solids go through the cacha, strain again using a coffee filter. The crab/prawn shell oil though it is cheaper than lobsters, can compare to the lobster oil!

    Now for the remainder of the stuff you have in the cacha…in a pot, add canola oil…and saute the remainder of the stuff in the cacha, dust with a bit of flour add a smidgeon of tomato paste…season add stock. Let it simmer for hours. Strain. Now you have BISQUE! You could a touch of heavy cream and right before eating, have your guests drizzle the seafood oil in their soup bowl….DRIZZLE not pour!

    Oct 25, 2011 | 9:55 pm

  8. betty q. says:

    MM…with the amount of entertaining you do and seafood you serve, try this crab/prawn oil. You can freeze them shells until you have enough to do a big batch. Put finished oil in little bottles…EXCELLENT CHRISTMAS GIFTS if I may say so for your foodie friends and kapitbahays! As well, the bisque…freezer stable…give them to your crew!

    Oct 25, 2011 | 10:04 pm

  9. Joseph (Vancouver) says:

    Whoaa homemade lobster oil. You always amaze me bettyq with your culinary prowess. I remember the now closed Cannery restaurant used to serve lobster oil with their dinner bread. They also sell them in bottles. I wonder where cwid bought his lobster oil.

    Oct 25, 2011 | 11:58 pm

  10. ayla says:

    Lobster oil’s interesting. Just came back from Boracay and saw some pretty amazing lobsters, curious about betty q’s homemade lobster oil.

    Oct 26, 2011 | 12:20 am

  11. cwid says:

    You are most welcome, MM. I am glad you liked it. I thank you also for giving us excellent ideas on how to use the lobster oil well.

    Joseph, you can get it from Granville Island, in a shop across from the market and you will find it in their fridge. The shop also sells all kinds of artisan jams.

    Betty, those are excellent tips again. Thanks, I will do the oil and bisque one of these days.

    Oct 26, 2011 | 1:24 am

  12. MP says:

    Hi Bettyq, would it work if I use olive oil instead of canola oil? Jordanian OO is really, really good (comparable to Italian OO) and I presume healthier so I was wondering if I can use that to make my own prawn/crab oil (using your recipe)… Wouldn’t the tomato paste affect the shelf life and taste of the oil?

    Oct 26, 2011 | 1:25 am

  13. Kasseopeia says:

    MM, thank you for sharing. Having a seafood party with the family; will make that salad up top!

    Wonderful suggestion, bettyQ. Many thanks! Will try that this weekend. Having a crab/shrimp party with the family.

    Same question as MP tho: won’t the presence of tomato paste affect the oil’s shelf life? Also, how do I store the finished oil – fridge or room temp?

    Oct 26, 2011 | 1:43 am

  14. Mari says:


    thanks for the suggestions as for Thanksgiving appetizers. I will be hosting my family this yr and wishing that I could sit them all down, but alas, I have a huge number that my table nor my house can fit a long table! But I will give it a deep thought to get to sit 20 (at least in 2 tables) or it will have to be buffet again.

    Sorry am writing this on this blog when some of it pertains to your previous one…but congratulations to the MM household! It is a joy and a time to be thankful for all the good things that are coming your way!

    Bettyq, thanks also for the numerous tips…I will try to do the crab oil as you suggested and yes, the bisque too! Maybe some other holiday, when I am able to gather a lot of shells.

    Oct 26, 2011 | 4:25 am

  15. betty q. says:

    MP…if you use EVOO, and then refrigerate the oil after, it will be as they say…”matutulog” when you put it in the cooler? Is that the right word, wisdom tooth? It will have these solidified particles. The tomato paste is to intensify the color and you will cook the …p out of it. Plus, it is usually as cwid said up above….in the REFRIGERATED SECTION of the stores and I think there is an expiry date on the bottle, MM?!!!!! For home use, ours do not last long…the boys enjoy dipping bread in it with balsamic vinegar. It tastes like sosyal na pinakurat as they say with a hint of crab essence!

    NOw, if you guys would like to make this in HUUUUGE quantities and do not have space in your cooler to store it, (para is a na lang hirap), then by all means, omit the tomato paste…since atsuete is readily available there, make atsuete oil using canola oil and then use that as the base of your crab/prawn oil! The chef who made this…I don’t think Frederic hasn’t heard of our atsuete oil!!!!!!!!!!

    I store our crab oil in the cooler. OH, I forgot, if you are using lobsters, do not include the innards inside the head…your oil will taste a bit bitter! If you are using Dungeness crab, do not include the greenish taba…it will turn your oil looking like swamp water!

    MP….I can only assume where you are that saffron is priced reasonably? My sister went to Egypt a few years ago and brought back for me as pasalubong…SAFFRON! Where you are, if I were there, I would use that after you have done the oil and let a few saffron threads steep in it before bottling….now that is really over the top crab/prawn oil or lobster oil!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 5:41 am

  16. Chinky says:

    Thank you very much, MM and bettyq, for the recipes and tips. Will try this out during the long weekend!!!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 7:05 am

  17. betty q. says:

    Whoa, MM…that is 1 mighty big side of smoked salmon compared to what I am eating right now!

    Millet…how’s this…I will ask my nephew and bribe him if need be, as long as you allow me to send you something…maybe 1 or 2 sides of hickory maple smoked salmon, too? It is not as big as MM’s smoked salmon side but equally addicting and it is home-smoked!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 8:26 am

  18. j-gurl says:

    looks yummy MM

    Oct 26, 2011 | 8:33 am

  19. Betchay says:

    Many thanks again to MM and BettyQ for generously sharing their food tips!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 8:43 am

  20. maia says:

    MM, what a lovely spread! someday, i hope to be able to attend one of your eyeballs so i get to experience your wonderful brand of hosting and entertaining. and bettyq, wow, so much i want to try after reading your suggestions on the shells et al. these go into my bettyq recipe file. i always love your recipes, thanks so much! i wish you were nearby so i can just call when i want or need something.:) God bless the work of your hands!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 9:06 am

  21. Fards says:

    Hi MM, yummy appetizers. Thanks for sharing how to do the shrimp/squid salad.
    @bettyq,thanks, will certainly try that crab/shrimp oil. Have some crabs in the freezer, caught them just before the weather got too cold.

    Oct 26, 2011 | 10:10 am

  22. betty q. says:

    Hey Joey…still have curacha in your freezer? …try making curacha oil!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 10:21 am

  23. DPM says:

    Details…details…what a lovely touch. Love Kermit watching over the food spread. It reassures no flying insects around ;D

    Oct 26, 2011 | 10:47 am

  24. millet says:

    woohoo, MM…leave me at that appetizer table and i’m one very happy camper! must try that seafood salad soon.

    bettyq, you’re amazing! you always come up with the answers! just when i was ruing not being able to duplicate MM’s dish for lack of lobster oil, here you are right on his heels with the recipe. am absolutely making my crab oil this long weekend, and the salad at the same time.

    yes, yes, bettyq! now we have to think of something to bribe your cousin with!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 11:32 am

  25. betty q. says:

    Millet…TALANGKA!!!!!!! Is it still in abundance there? If it is, forget the alimasag…go with the talangka lalo na if it has taba but you need to cook the talangka first and smash it till kingdom come after roasting it!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 1:48 pm

  26. shiko says:

    such a wonderful community you’ve built up, MarketMan. the inimitable BettyQ (even i, a mere lurker, have come to adore her by now) offers such a brilliant bunch of recipes there. and thanks MM for the fantastic “seafood salad” idea! shrimp and real crab (not that horrific kani krap) and squid–such an indulgence! you should host another thanksgiving for your thanksgiving that went so well. ;)

    Oct 26, 2011 | 3:38 pm

  27. Chinky says:

    Bettyq, what about the bottled taba ng talangka? Will this do?

    Oct 26, 2011 | 6:31 pm

  28. millet says:

    bettyq, talangka has been harder and harder to find hereabouts these days, so mud crabs and blue crabs (alimasag) will have to do. sayang, we recently hosted a crab-and-shrimp dinner with some friends…all the shells would have made a lot of the oil infusion. no worries, now there’s another excuse to get more…

    Oct 26, 2011 | 7:06 pm

  29. Pam says:

    Thank you for sharing this MM! I want to try that seafood salad! Yum!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 7:40 pm

  30. psychomom says:

    am definitely making the seafood salad and the crab oil. that is enough reason to buy out crabs in local fish store. i even have saffron!!! can’t wait to try this. thanks bettyq! like chinky said, can we add taba ng talangka?

    Oct 26, 2011 | 8:28 pm

  31. Sarah says:

    I think I will copy your seafood salad for my birthday lunch, MM, using bettyq’s recipe for crab oil… Thanks MM and Bettyq! This site is a wonderful resource for home cooks.

    Oct 26, 2011 | 8:50 pm

  32. betty q. says:

    Chinky…if you are back home, you are indeed so lucky to have access to the real stuff unlike the ones I buy here…so they say it is crab fat. I don’t think so! But adding some of it to intensify the orangey hue and essence of the oil is a great idea! Based on Sister’s past comments about lobster tomalley, I think she adds lobster tomalley to Palabok? You can have your friends drizzle the finished oil too over their palabok! Oh….talk about Palabok or Pancit Malabon….kropek is everywhere. I add some pounded kropek or shrimp crackers besides some chicharon…..It is sooooo good!

    Millet…..mwahahaha! You have another reason to party as well!!!!!!!!!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 9:39 pm

  33. MP says:

    Excellent ideas Bettyq, as usual. I will use canola oil then. You are right, I have easy access to Iranian saffron, reputed to be the world’s best, albeit really, really expensive. But then again, we get what we pay for and if my crab/prawn oil will taste/look better then who cares, right? I will let you know if my efforts paid off.

    By the way, what is curacha?

    Maraming, maraming salamat Bettyq!!!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 10:48 pm

  34. betty q. says:

    Curacha…a crab that looks like an alien! But then again…what do I know…my hubby would say if he saw this comment…have I met an alien? …not yet, my dear hubby! or maybe I have and I didn’t even know!!!!

    Oct 26, 2011 | 11:06 pm

  35. Wisdom tooth says:

    Miss Betty Q, ilan naman kayang crabs/lobster/prawns/shrimps ang kailangan for their shells to be able to get at least 3 small garapons of some flavorfull lobster/crab oil. And, the difference in taste when using tomato paste, atsurte oil, and atsuete powder? I am dying to try this sosyal na pinakurat…
    Now I just have to get home to copy, paste and save in my USB all these tips. Salamat MM for topics that excites your bloggers and to dear Betty q for sharing her expertise.

    Oct 27, 2011 | 12:37 am

  36. betty q. says:

    Wisdom tooth…quantity of your garapon? To me, a garapon is a 4 litre bottle or jug! For example, when I make XO, I make 1 pound of dried scallops and after adding everything, it will yield 1 ordinary size wokful of XO. The oil in sauteeing and that floats after is maybe 6 cups of by now XO flavoured oil. So….think 2 x the amount of the Xo stuff to make 1 garapon of the oil . HOWever, you need to PUKPUK anyway the shells( so it is not as bulky?) after roasting it before simmering it with oil…best to add oil in the roasting pan scraping the bottom so you get the good stuff and dump it into a big pot.

    Tomato paste…hint of sweetness which adds to the complexity of the oil…NAKS! But then you might want to ask me …the carrots are already sweet by themselves….that is why you don’t add too much of the tres gulay so it will not overpower the essence of crab/lobster/prawn shells. Next question…but the atsuete powder will release the color once it is added to the hot oil. Atsuete oil…because we both live far from kabihasnan and might not have atsuete powder but do have a lot of atsuete seeds, making the atsuete oil far better than dumping the atsuete water because you really do not want any watery liquid for you have to let it stand before you get he oil or baka sumama droplets of tubig when you pour the oil in your little garapons. To make it look lalong sosyal once it is bottled, like MP, put a few threads of saffron or a fresh looking sprig of tarragon and a few peppercorn melange…not much! The tarragon will add another layer of perfume!

    MP…Your hubby’s bibolous friends…are they ice wine drinkers? If they are…..ask them to save the empty nice, sexy bottles of ice wine. ….makes veeeeery nice bottles for your crustacean oil!

    all these things spinning in my head! You know a graphic designer? Ask him/her to create something to make it special for your friends you are gifting this Christmas! Attach a little card as well tied to the top of the bottle and include ways to use it. DO NOT PRINT from computer. I usually use a fountain pen to do this.

    The sosyal na pinakurat…you only add the balsamic vinegar(white or dark) in those dipping saucers and drizzle the oil. As for the dipping bread…I cheat! I buy and favour Safeway’s cheese-jalapeno focaccia cut into fingers!

    Oct 27, 2011 | 2:06 am

  37. Wisdom tooth says:

    Ay naku, Betty q… Bakit ngayon ka lang dumating sa buhay namin?? Ang dami na naming natapong sexy ice wine bottles. Time to start saving up those bottles again. CHEERS!!

    Oct 27, 2011 | 2:34 am

  38. TETH says:


    Oct 27, 2011 | 9:49 am

  39. betty q. says:

    At saka Wisdom tooth and anyone who has access to SMOKED PAPRIKA like Joey ( must have lots of PIMENTON DE LA VERA)…adding it will bring this crustacean oil to another level.

    MP…I am terribly sorry for adding so many things to the oil! I just want your final product , mga MRS. to be PERFECT. But use this a base guideline adding whatever suits you.

    I can see this now and so does my hubby, turning this oil probably into a cottage industry back home utilizing what would otherwise be thrown out like those crab/prawn shells!

    Oct 27, 2011 | 10:19 am

  40. PITS, MANILA says:


    Oct 27, 2011 | 1:15 pm

  41. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Wow!! Thanks MM and bettyq for making our food world exciting…my sister from New Jersey –who passed away recently ==made really fantastic Turkey Dinners…I miss her when I saw your spread. Thanks MM! Thanks bettyq!!

    Oct 27, 2011 | 4:16 pm

  42. MP says:

    BETTYQ!!! I echo Wisdom Tooth’s sentiment: bakit ngayon ka lang dumating sa buhay namin??? We could have lined the entire Wall of China with ice wine bottles courtesy of my hubby’s bibulous colleagues! But we’ll have more for sure so I will have a lot of bottles to store my oil in. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. We just brought some smoked paprika from Madrid so I’ll add that, too. Hubby said I must follow all your suggestions to a T and we’ll be guaranteed to have excellent oil to drizzle in MM’s seafood salad! I think my hubby’s more OC than I am!

    And lastly Bettyq, do I leave the saffron swimming in the oil or do I fish them out after it has done ‘coloring’ the oil?

    Oct 27, 2011 | 6:28 pm

  43. MP says:

    marissewalangkaparis, i am so sorry to hear about your sister. i hope you and your family are coping well.

    Oct 27, 2011 | 6:31 pm

  44. Wisdom tooth says:

    Marissewalangkaparis….sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. My family and I will pray for the repose of her soul.

    Oct 27, 2011 | 10:42 pm

  45. Wisdom tooth says:

    MP, will you tell me exactly the brand and what it says in the pakete of the smoked paprika which you purchased in Madrid? One of my sons is stydying in Pamplona and if I ask him to buy anything esp food or spices, kailangan exact kung hindi he will not be able to find it. I don’t know if he can send through mail or i will just have to wait till he comes home in Dec.

    Bettyq…naghahanap ako among my friends who works in a seafood section in the supermarket who will have access to the shells of the crabs that are cleaned. Ok lang ba yon or kailang whole yung crabs?

    Oct 27, 2011 | 11:03 pm

  46. betty q. says:

    Wisdom tooth…it would be better if you have access to the shells of the WHOLE COOKED crab or lobster WITHOUT rinsing them first with water. That way it is still humahalimuyak of crab essence. I have seen a few stores selling just the body of cooked crab split into 4 sections or sometimes 2 without the shells. Ask your friend to talk to the seafood manager and tell the manager that she will help him/her RECYCLE the crab shells instead of letting them go the landfill! If asked what she will do with them AND ONLY IF ASKED…CRUSH the shells to a small particles and dig them into her garden for her garden soil needs CALCIUM and other micro nutrients which BTW is a good idea if you have heavy soil provided you really clean the shells, dry them thoroughly before crushing them and adding to the soil instead of sand. BUT HOPE that the manager doesn’t ask too many questions…DO NOT VOLUNTEER saying what you intend to do with the shells!

    I think your son can send it by mail for they also sell the pimenton de la vera on E-BAY! Howver, he might get confused since they sell it in so many different kinds…there is dulce, bittersweet smoked, picante, semi-picante and the list goes on!

    Oct 27, 2011 | 11:59 pm

  47. betty q. says:

    Marisse…please accept our condolences as well and will include your sister in our prayers, too!

    Oct 28, 2011 | 12:02 am

  48. betty q. says:

    MM…Mimi sent me just now this belly-aching funny clip on YOU TUBE! …FILIPINO TUTORIAL on eating crabs by Mikey Bustos! You have to see it if you haven’t yet!!!!!!!!!

    Oct 28, 2011 | 1:26 am

  49. Wisdom tooth says:

    Bettyq, I feel like Sherlock Holmes because of all the secrecy in acquiring those crab shells. Hahaha. Kailangan ko na maging ka-bagang yung tao na yon. Plus kailangan ng friend ko maging ka-bagang yung supervisor nya para no more questions asked.

    Re pimenton dela vera, which kind are you recommending so I can properly instruct him. He will do it kasi sya yung mahilig kumain:)Thank you!!

    Oct 28, 2011 | 2:04 am

  50. millet says:

    glad you’ve seen mikey bustos, bettyq! i love him..he’s a ham! i think he and lee and marc medina would be great to have as guests for dinner..they’d provide rib-tickling entertainment as well.

    Oct 28, 2011 | 5:26 pm

  51. MP says:

    Hi Wisdom Tooth, sorry for the delayed reply. I had difficulty accessing MM’s site for 2 days now! In any case, we got Pimenton dela Vera paprika (smoked, sweet, etc) and also Pimenton de Murcia (also different varieties) which some Spanish lady said is better as they were produced in Monteagudo. She claims that that’s where the best paprika are produced. She may have been pulling my leg for all I know but they were priced a bit higher than some so it MAY be possible. They come in red tin cans with a lady with a crown and says denominacion de origen protegida. I went to the supermarket to hoard different types of paprika only to see lots of them at the airport!

    Oct 30, 2011 | 4:45 pm

  52. betty q. says:

    Wisdom tooth…La Vera, Murcia are just a few of the regions in Spain where the peppers are planted and processed and the 2 most popular. What is important is the region not so much as the brand. What I have and use is dulce. If I want to make the dish hotter, I just add a bit of cayenne. Say for instance…PImenton de la Vera….origin is La Vera…Brands…there is La Chinita, La Dahlia and the list goes on. I hope this and MP’s comments will help!

    Oct 30, 2011 | 11:36 pm

  53. Edwib says:

    Hi MM. how r u ? I have new stuff at the store. Lobster tail … 100-120g each.

    Oct 31, 2011 | 11:51 am

  54. jinkzz says:

    Lobster oil sounds interesting though I have not tried it before…will be on the lookout for it when I go to gourmet food store…question: Is that extra virgin olive oil infused with lobster?

    Nov 1, 2011 | 7:24 am


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