Whether you’re a foodie, aspiring cook or passionate chef, when it comes to herbs there’s a universal mantra. Fresh herbs take cooking to new levels on the flavour scale. Nothing against jarred herbs – they’re certainly handy – but for an aromatic, exotic and delicious complement to your favourite recipes, fresh herbs blow dry away every time. Taste for yourself next time you enjoy Tofino accommodations at Pacific Sands.
Our new herb garden area is filling in nicely and getting popular with guests that enjoy cooking in their in-suite kitchens or grilling at the beachside Gazebo barbeques.
Rosemary for a steak rub?
Chives for baked potatoes?
Thyme for roast chicken?
Or mint for your mohitos?
Simply snip from Carmen’s Culinary Herb Garden located behind the Lodge Suites. Named in honour of our Head Groundskeeper Carmen, she’ll look after the pruning and TLC and you can get all the dinner accolades.
Speaking of which, try this Dungeness crab recipe for a standing ovation. Considered one of the most spectacular tasting crabs in the world, you can enjoy Dungeness crab year round in Tofino. For a live-and-kicking crab adventure head to the Crab Dock in town for the afternoon catch or a variety of local seafood merchants.
[ Cook’s note: 16-quart crab pots complete with all the tools are available at Guest Services; Beach Houses and Signature Suites come equipped. The main Gazebo also features special crab burners to help keep the mess and smell-of-the-sea outside! ]
TOFINO DUNGENESS CRAB & HERB BUTTER
- 2 live Dungeness crabs; approx. 2 pounds each
- 1 ¼ cups kosher salt (for a 16-quart pot; adjust for smaller pot but don’t scrimp!)
- Fill 16-quart pot with water to within 3 inches of the top (don’t over fill to allow for crabs). Add the salt, stir to dissolve, cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. (That’s a lot of water and it takes a while…sip something and be patient).
- When the water starts to bubble (still a long way from boiling) move your 8-legged beauties from the fridge to the freezer (knocks them out a bit to make them easier to handle). Important they don’t freeze so 15 minutes max.
- When the water is at a rolling boil, take crabs from the freezer, rinse them off, and carefully drop them headfirst into the water (they’re feisty so pick them up with tongs or grab at the very back of the shell). Cover the pot and return to a boil. Once the pot is boiling again, lower the heat, just enough to maintain a modest boil, and cook for 9 to 10 minutes…basically until the shells are bright red. Leave the lid slightly open so steam can escape.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the crabs with a pair of tongs. If serving hot, rinse under cold water briefly before cleaning so you can get your hands on them. If serving chilled, rinse the crabs in cold water, drain thoroughly, dismantle, and refrigerate on ice until dinner.
- New to cleaning crab? No problem…here’s a helpful video by a seafood fan on how to clean a Dungeness crab.
- Serve with the following savoury Herb Butter, lemon wedges, and a whole bunch of napkins.
- 1 cup butter
- 4 cloves garlic; minced
- ¼ cup mixed fresh herbs; suggest mix of parsley, tarragon, chives
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Melt butter over medium heat; cook garlic until translucent.
- Stir in herbs, salt and pepper.
- Continue to heat until bubbling and serve.
[ For super easy-peasy, you can also get “already-offed and cleaned” crab at Tofino seafood merchants. Just chill, crack and serve with Herb Butter. ]