Food for Thought: Seafood Steamers too pricey

Staff reports

Critic’s Cupboard: Old Bay Seafood Steamers

Spatula down: Old Bay for 60 years has been an old friend. It began as a crab boil but over the decades has been discovered as a boutique seasoning for meats and vegetables of all types. The new Old Bay Seafood Steamers add convenience to the old guy, including a 2-quart microwave shaker bag and spice for a pound of shrimp. My problem in these days of massive economic problems is the price -- $2.89 for one use. A Ziploc Zip ‘n Steam microwave bag will do the same for 25 cents plus a dime’s worth of spice. I’d use less than half the amount of spice in the Steamer; Old Bay can get too strong in excessive amounts. And Steamers have four times the amount of sodium than the tinned Old Bay (27 percent to 7 percent). That’s way too salty for me. (Jim Hillibish/Canton Repository)

Spatula down: For a good old-fashioned shrimp boil, it’s hard to beat Old Bay. It’s a wonderful seafood seasoning, especially doctored to taste with lemon, beer, bay leaves and such. These new steamer bags might interest you should you be hit with a “gotta-have-it-right-now” urge for shrimp boil. The microwave bag will get the tasty crustaceans in your greedy hands in a hurry, but you’ll pay out the nose. Almost three bucks to steam a pound of shrimp. In just a few more minutes and for a lot less money, you can do a shrimp boil on your stovetop. To learn how -- and it’s super easy -- watch a step by step video at (Jennifer Mastroianni/Canton Repository)

Food Quiz

Almost all of the world’s wine-producing areas are within which latitudinal lines?

A. 20 to 40 degrees latitude

B. 30 to 50 degrees latitude

C. 30 to 40 degrees latitude

D. 40 to 60 degrees latitude


Answer is at bottom of column

Easy Recipe: Garden Vegetable Salad Stacker

2 large tomatoes, each cut into 6 slices

6 ounces mozzarella cheese (low-moisture part-skim), cut into 6 slices

1/3 cup Kraft Zesty Italian dressing, divided

6 slices red onion (about 1 large)

12 seedless cucumber slices (about 1 medium)

6 fresh basil leaves

Place 6 of the tomato slices on platter; top each with 1 cheese slice. Drizzle with half of the dressing. Top each with 1 onion slice, 2 cucumber slices and second tomato slice. Drizzle with remaining dressing; top with basil. Six servings, one stack each. (Jennifer Mastroianni/Canton Repository)

Wise to the Word: Frisée

Frisée (free-ZAY) is a leafy, yellow-green vegetable often found in specialty salad mixes and is called mesclun. It’s also a cooking technique where greens are lightly wilted in oil. (Canton Repository)

Number to Know: 3

Number of teens arrested for stealing from a vending machine after police tracked them down by following a trail of Cheetos.

The Dish On …

“Complete Book of Home Preserving,” by Judi Kingry

Ball Home Canning Products are the gold standard in home preserving supplies, the trademark jars on display in stores every summer from coast to coast. Now the experts at Ball have written a book destined to become the bible of home preserving.

These 400 innovative and enticing recipes include everything from salsas and savory sauces to pickling, chutneys, relishes and of course, jams, jellies, and fruit spreads.

The book includes comprehensive directions on safe canning and preserving methods plus lists of required equipment and utensils. Specific instructions for first-timers and handy tips for the experienced make the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving a valuable addition to any kitchen library.

From The Beer Nut’s Blog

Stone’s Vertical Epic 08.08.08 has hit the stores. The series began in 2002 and is expected to continue until 2012. Each beer is different, but it typically is a Belgian-influenced ale, much different than Stone’s normal lineup of beers.

This year’s offering is described as a “strong golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops.”

I’m really looking forward to trying this beer. I was a big fan of 06.06.06 and 07.07.07.

If you try it, let me know what you think.

To comment or to read more Beer Nut, go to

Food Quiz Answer

B. 30 to 50 degrees latitude

GateHouse News Service