Imagine this: the aroma of sweet cornmeal mingles with the salty kiss of the sea, a whisper of garlic hangs in the air, and vibrant green spinach peeks through a golden crust. This, my friends, is Cornmeal with Blue Crabs and Spinach, a one-pot symphony of flavors that will have you singing from the stovetop.
Forget your fancy cookware and multiple-course meals. This dish embraces the beauty of simplicity, using just one pot to create a culinary masterpiece. It’s perfect for a cozy weeknight when time is tight but taste buds demand excitement. And speaking of excitement, let’s dive into the magic of this dish:
The Crust: The star of the show is the golden cornmeal crust. It’s like a warm hug for your plate, soft and comforting on the inside with a satisfying crunch on the outside. The subtle sweetness of the cornmeal dances with a touch of paprika and garlic, creating a base that cradles the other flavors with grace.
The Sea’s Bounty: Blue crabs, those little champions of the coast, take center stage with their sweet and slightly briny flesh. Each bite is a delightful burst of the ocean, reminding you of sun-kissed beaches and salty breezes. Feel free to crack, pick, and savor – it’s all part of the experience!
A Touch of Green: Spinach, nature’s emerald jewel, adds a pop of color and a welcome earthy counterpoint to the richness of the crabs. It wilts into the dish, contributing a subtle bitterness and a boost of nutrients. Plus, let’s be honest, it makes the whole thing look impossibly vibrant.
Beyond the Pot: This one-pot wonder is versatile enough to please any palate. Sprinkle on some chopped red onion for a bit of bite, add a squeeze of lemon for a bright finish, or stir in your favorite hot sauce for a touch of fire. It’s your canvas, so get creative!
More Than Just Dinner: This dish isn’t just about convenience or taste, it’s about a connection to something bigger. It’s a celebration of coastal communities, of generations gathered around steaming pots, sharing stories and laughter. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the simplest things are the most satisfying.
So, fire up that stovetop, gather your loved ones, and whip up a pot of Cornmeal with Blue Crabs and Spinach. Let the aroma fill your home, let the flavors dance on your tongue, and let this one-pot paradise transport you to a place where taste, tradition,
What is Cornmeal
Cornmeal is a typical staple food and is ground in fine, medium, and coarse consistency. It is a versatile grain and a great alternative to rice. From breakfast and lunch to dinner, the recipes are endless. And let’s not forget about supper! Yes, in many cultures, supper is eaten around 6 – 7 pm. If cornmeal is served, it is usually in porridge form or a sweet polenta recipe. Let’s not forget about dessert as there are several delicious recipes as well.
What is Blue Crab
If you’ve never added blue crab in cornmeal or any other type of grain, you are in for a surprise. Any seafood you are adding to a grain dish must be seasoned separately. The reason is simple; you want a well-seasoned dish. Have you ever tasted, let’s say, rice, and the seafood is seasoned well. Exactly! You will taste some seasoning, but the recipe will not be that flavorful.
Spinach is one of the healthiest green leafy vegetables that are full of flavor and antioxidants,s and one of the most used in Caribbean cuisine. In the Caribbean, you will mostly find a sizeable leafy type of spinach. You will see the same in the States as well. Whichever type you want to use in the recipe is excellent. You will have the same taste result. There are several recipes, including spinach.
Health benefits of Cornmeal
Here’s a rundown of some of the most notable:
1. Rich in Fiber: Cornmeal is an excellent source of dietary fiber, essential for digestive health and regularity. Fiber also promotes satiety, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and aiding in weight management.
2. Boosts Heart Health: Cornmeal is relatively high in selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties that can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
3. Supports Blood Sugar Control: Whole-grain cornmeal releases its carbohydrates slowly, preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes. This is beneficial for both diabetics and individuals looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
4. Provides Essential Nutrients: Cornmeal is packed with various essential nutrients, including B vitamins for energy metabolism, phosphorus for strong bones and teeth, and magnesium for muscle function and nerve health.
5. Gluten-Free: For those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, cornmeal is a safe and delicious alternative to wheat-based grains.
6. Promotes Eye Health: Cornmeal contains lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that act as antioxidants and protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
7. May Aid in Weight Management: Due to its high fiber content and low-calorie count, cornmeal can be a helpful addition to weight-loss diets. It promotes satiety and prevents overeating.
8. Versatile and Delicious: Cornmeal is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into various dishes, from savory polenta and grits to sweet cornbread and pancakes. This makes it easy to reap its health benefits while enjoying flavorful meals.
Remember, choosing whole-grain cornmeal over refined options maximizes the nutritional value. So, go ahead and explore the culinary possibilities of this wholesome grain and reap its abundance of health benefits!
It’s important to note that while cornmeal offers numerous health benefits, moderation is key. Consuming excessive amounts of any food can have negative consequences. Enjoy cornmeal as part of a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other whole grains for optimal health.
Making the recipe
The spices for this recipe are simple. Noubess Seafood Seasoning was used to season the blue crabs, and Noubess Hot and Spicy Original with Herbs was used to add flavor, taste, and aroma to the one-pot meal. Fresh herbs and spices are also part of this delicious meal.
This recipe is served as a full meal. No side dishes are served. The only ingredient or a side dish, as you may want to call it, is avocado. Cornmeal and avocado are usually served together for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It does not matter the way the cornmeal is cooked; avocado is always present. The only exception will be if the cornmeal is served sweetened.
For the recipe, I used 2 cups of cornmeal to serve 6 – 8 people. Cornmeal takes a long time to cook. The coarser or larger the grains are, the longer the cooking process will be. Cooking cornmeal is almost like an art. You need the right seasoning, and you must also add your veggies or meat at the right time.
One thing you must always do is cook the grains with either a wooden spoon or a sturdy spoon spatula. The reason is that it will be easier to manage. Making a polenta meal is the same as well.
Here’s the recipe.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Noubess Hot and Spicy Pineapple with Herbs
- 2 tablespoons Noubess Seafood Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 4 cups hot water
- Additional seasoning Noubess Seafood Seasoning or regular chicken bouillon
- Seasoned Blue Crabs or shrimp
- 4 cups baby spinach or chopped regular spinach
- Season with salt or additional seasoning
- Bouquet garni parsley and thyme only
- 4 cups hot water plus more
- Seasoned Blue Crab
- 4 – 6 medium blue crabs gutted and cleaned
- 1 tablespoon Noubess Seafood Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 medium onion chopped or sliced
- Noubess Seafood Seasoning
- To make blue crabs
- In a small bowl, mix lemon juice and seafood seasoning and set aside. In a skillet, heat oil, add onion, bay leaf and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Add crabs and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- To make Cornmeal
- Add oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, garlic, scallions and saute for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, Hot and Spicy Pineapple sauce and cook 2 – 4 minutes until the tomatoes have started to release their juice. Add seafood seasoning, salt and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Add cornmeal and stir to mix all ingredients. Continue to stir while cooking for 3 minutes. Add bouquet garni (parsley and thyme). Add 4 cups hot water and bring to a boil. Season to taste with additional seasoning.
- Occasionally stir mixture to help cornmeal cook faster, not stick to the bottom of the pan and to remove any lumps.
- Add more hot water when necessary to fully cook the cornmeal. In the last 1 – 15 minutes of cooking, add blue crabs and cook for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and mix well. Add flaxseed meal and mix well. Continue to cook until the cornmeal is fully cooked, the crabs are fully cooked and the spinach leaves are cooked as well.
- Remove and serve immediately.
Reheat cornmeal normally, no need to add water.
We add flaxseed not only for health reason but also to keep the cornmeal soft.
You can replace blue crabs with shrimp. Season the same way but cook in cornmeal. Shrimp do not take a long time to cook. If you want to cook the shrimp separately, you can do so, but mix them with the cornmeal before serving.
To measure cornmeal, 1 cup might serve 2 – 4 people depending on portion amount. Two cups will be sufficient for 6 – 8 people and again depending on portion size.
Always add hot water to cornmeal.
Use a wooden spoon or sturdy spoon spatula.
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.
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