[Video] Gone Fishing for Florida Stone Crab Season

It all began with a hunt for a frog leg source in 2006 when Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink was a set of plans and dreams. Some 12 years later, fisherman George Figueroa of Trigger Seafood is Michael’s source for everything under the South Florida sun including these Everglades treats, from local spiny lobster to his company’s namesake triggerfish when we’re lucky.  Like most long lasting relationships, things grow and evolve.  You see each other when you can — sometimes more often than others, but it’s always like yesterday and there’s always an opportunity for a spontaneous adventure.  When George happened to be by the office last week to pick up a check, he asked if I wanted to join on the boat Sunday for the 2018 Florida Stone Crab season harvest.  Frog gigging?  Sure, Michael has donned the headlamp under full moonlight.  Wild boar hunting? He and culinary director Bradley Herron joined George on the swamp buggy.  But after all this time, it would be our first time pulling traps — and certainly not the last!

Unlike recreational opportunities, our fisherman has a commercially-regulated (for sustainability) license where he may legally harvest both claws — if they are legal in size and the crab continues to feed (as many frisky ones we encountered today without claws were doing in the traps.) The crabs’ natural predators in the bay including triggerfish, dolphin, turtles, and octopus actively prey on both clawed and clawless specimens. The reality is we encountered pilfered and stolen traps all day long, which is bad for everyone, especially the health of our fishery.

Stone Crab season is one of those give-ins. Not taken for granted but to a certain degree expected.  Nothing should ever be that way, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to realize it through this past weekend’s experience.  George’s office is like that.  It appears to be a constant — the crystalline water of Biscayne Bay, the blue sky embracing its National Park, the delicious seafood.

Scratch the shimmer though, and the squalls, the tropical changes, the pirate’s-life-for-me blood coursing thick and hungry in all of us down in these wild parts rise to the surface.  That’s the thing about buried treasure.  It makes us all go a little crazy. Go rogue in the rush of discovery and payday in glorious sweet meat.  But what will you pull up?  Has someone gotten there, to your licensed traps, first? The unpredictability of it all runs deep, and that’s the object lesson we took away with our 65-pound claw haul. Protection and regulation can only do so much for our natural resources.  It takes a little more work than that.  It takes respect, and education even when it’s not always easy on the eyes is a fine place to start.

Thank you @jorge_trigger_seafood for showing us the #stonecrab ropes, sharing insight into the challenges of managing this fishery, and always telling it like it is. Keep it real and come along for the ride with us on the video above. When you enjoy some claws at MGFD or Amara at Paraiso there will be new meaning and respect to contemplate — how they got to the table and in some cases why they’re absent from it.

 

Get Your Claws On Stone Crab Week at Michael’s Genuine®

It’s time to get cracking! Stonies are back and so is our week of living large at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink, because that’s just what we do in Miami this time of year.  And we have our genie in a bottle, sommelier and The Genuine Hospitality Group beverage manager Amanda Fraga to thank.

To celebrate the arrival of one of this season’s most anticipated local ingredients, for each pound of large Florida Stone Crabs from Monday, October 23 to Sunday, October 29, choose any — ANY — bottle of wine on what I believe to be one of the truly most exciting, dynamic and exceptional lists around for the table for half off.  All bottles are fair game, available at lunch, afternoon, dinner and brunch, all week long!  From sparkling to creamy, it all pairs as far as we are concerned.  Pop in and join us on a Design District stroll for afternoon menu or happy hour, or book a reservation for lunch dinner or brunch in advance at reservations@michaelsgenuine.com or 305 573 5550. From sparkling to red and all the rosé in between, treat yo self in advance of the trick!

Pound Your Fall Favorite | Stone Crab Week at Michael’s Genuine®

Boo!

Boo!

Don’t be spooked by these treats!  Genuine’s about to up its black and orange game, and it all begins on Halloween Day.  We are living large to celebrate one of this season’s most anticipated local ingredients. From Monday 10/31 – Sunday 11/6, guests who order one pound of large stone crabs, can choose any bottle of wine on our list for the table at half off, available at lunch, afternoon, dinner and brunch.  All bottles are game, all week long! Pop in and join us on a Design District stroll or reserve in advance here.  From sparkling to red and all the rosé in between, beverage manager Amanda Fraga and I will be tasting through a few gems on Facebook Live beginning at 4:30pm Monday.  Join our crab party and see who shows up in costume.  Tune into the Miami Design District’s page to join us!

[Recipe] Get Cracking on The Cypress Room’s Stone Crab Roulade

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Ocean Drive recently asked us to contribute to its story on healthy versions of comfort foods.  We really liked this spin chef Roel Alcudia had on The Cypress Room menu and wanted to offer you the full recipe here.  It is not only simple to make, but as a local, casts stone crabs in a whole new light, from pick and eat with the traditional mustard sauce to an ingredient as a component of a dish.  Stone crabs blow in with a torrent on October 15 each year and can’t come quick enough.  We source most of our claws from George Stone Crab and have been hot on them this  season especially with our new raw bar at Michael’s Genuine.  They were also a popular item on the menu at our Design Miami café last week.

IMG_2636_2“They’re South Florida’s comfort food. Georgia has peaches, Louisiana has crawfish, and we’ve got stone crabs,” George’s owner Roger Duarte says.  “Stone crabs are what you eat for your mother’s birthday, what you serve to friends when they visit from out of town, how you ring in the new year. They taste like South Florida – home! For a local, the arrival of the season is like looking forward to a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

A roulade is a dish common to most European cuisines and consisting of a slice of meat rolled around a filling, which could be cheese, vegetables, or other meats. The term originates from the French word “rouler”, meaning “to roll”. Roel’s recipe is a heathy take on this typically rich, braised preparation, but no less decadent or soulful.  And what’s more comforting than a taste of home?  We’ll let you be the judge! George Stone Crab is one of our suppliers in the unique position to sell direct to consumer, so you can place your order for delivery here.

Stone Crab Roulade with Kumquats and Shaved Vegetables

Serves 4

6 large Florida stone crabs, cracked and picked
1 tablespoon finely diced shallots
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 tablespoons yuzu juice, or 1 tablespoon each of lemon and lime juice
2 tablespoons brunoise celery
2 tablespoons brunoise Honeycrisp apples
2 tablespoons brunoise cucumbers
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons diced cornichons
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 watermelon radish, shaved
1 small zucchini, shaved into rounds
1 shishito pepper, sliced thin
4 kumquats, sliced thin
1 teaspoon Espelette pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
12 edible flowers

In a small bowl, combine the crab meat, shallots, chives, citrus juice, celery, apples, cucumbers into a uniform mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a footlong sheet of plastic wrap horizontally on a clean work station. About 2 inches away from the edge closest to you, spoon the crab mixture to form a long baton 2-inches wide down the plastic wrap, leaving a couple of inches free on either end. Gently begin to roll and tuck the crab mixture into a compact dowel and twisting the edges to tighten securely. Refrigerate roulade for at least one hour. Make a remoulade by combining the mayonnaise, cornichons, capers, and champagne vinegar, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove chilled roulade from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, slice 3-inch batons through the plastic wrap, carefully removing and discarding it to maintain each roulade’s shape. Serve immediately, placing each roulade on a plate surrounded by the shaved vegetables dotted with remoulade and slices of kumquat and a couple of pinches of Espellete pepper. Dress each lightly with the lemon juice and olive oil, and garnish with edible flowers.