Freeze leftover pasteurized crab meat?

melva02(z7 VA)January 12, 2008

I bought an 8-oz. container of pasteurized jumbo lump crab meat to put in a white wine & butter sauce (to go over halibut...trying to recreate a restaurant dish). I'm cooking for one so I only need a little bit for this recipe.

Can I freeze the rest of the crab meat to use later? I could make myself a crab cake tomorrow, but since the crab was $12 and I have more halibut in the freezer, I figure it makes sense to freeze some for the future, if it can be done safely and with no loss of quality. Opinions or links to reliable sources are greatly appreciated. Feel free to turn this into a crab recipe thread instead if that's more appropriate. :-)

Melissa

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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Melissa,

How about you just make a bigger batch and we all come over to help you eat it? Sounds delish....

Zabby

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 4:18PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Can't quote you a reliable source off-hand but shrimp, clams, scallops and all freshwater and saltwater fish all freeze well so I can't imagine why crab wouldn't do just as well. Most of it is frozen for shipping to those of us far from a coast anyway. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 7:27PM
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macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)

Instead of putting the crab meat away, take a piece of the halibut out and poach it until it's barely flaking. Then add the rest of the crab that you have. Now follow your crabcake recipe. Freeze any "crab cakes" that you have left over and use later. They go great on crispy potato pancakes with a side of asparagaus with holandaise....mmmm..

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 8:34PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

You can safely freeze the crab meat. When you thaw the crab meat you will notice a difference in the texture. If your taste buds are really in tune to texture and flavors you will notice this in frozen crab meat. I am assuming you are talking about blue swimming crab and not Alaskan crab meat. Alaskan crab meat is almost always shipped frozen because it is frozen shortly after it is caught. Chesapeake Bay crab MEAT (blue swimming) is almost never sold frozen that is why they have it pastuerized now - so it will store longer in the fridge. Products made with blue swimming crab meat are sold frozen but the actual meat itself is hardly ever handled frozen in your location. Will it still be good - yes. My sense of taste/mouth feel/texture is keen and I can tell when items have been frozen -but- not everyone can tell. I say try it this time and if when you defrost and cook it again it tastes OK to you - no problem.

DL

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 4:21AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Most delicate fish, once frozen never has the same moistness and texure. This is especially true with eaing fresh cooked haddock, compared to frozen, then cooked haddock. The fresh cooked (in this case, breaded and fried) is white juicy and very moist with large flakes. The frozen is also battered and fried and it seems a bit dry and a bit more fragle as it crumbles a bit easy. Last night, a big haddock sandwich at a local eatery (Billy's). They prepare big, nearly half pounds of fresh haddock that is breaded and deep fried, then placed on an oversized hamburger bun with tarter sauce.. YUM! Its gotten many Best Of Boston awards, and is the ONLY place I go to eat seafood. I have had frozen raw shrimp, then cooked and also frozen cooked shrimp. The raw frozen then cooked is a bit more firm, compared to the frozen cooked type that is just thawed and eaten.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 10:56AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

ksrogers,
I am on my way to Boston and to Billy's right NOW!!( well maybe not RIGHT now) I love haddock. We can only get it fresh here in Central Virginia on a few occasions during the year. Of course the folks in Northern Virginia near Wash DC get it more often because of the demand. When I grew up (DC) there was much in the way of fresh seafood that I could get almost year round. Costco has fresh haddock once or twice a year down here and I get it every time.

DL

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 6:09PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The further away from the source (cold Atlantic) the less fresh it is. I do know that Costco here sells some kinds of fresh fish, but also previous frozen. If you see 'IQF' or 'previously frozen', as required by law, you know its not really fresh. A local supermarket here sells 5 pound boxes of frozen haddock for about $3-4 a pound. There are usually two fillets per plastic bag and these are formed into a big 5 pound brick. Another market had fresh, and even skinned it for me, then weighed and priced it. Haddock skin is not bad and does help to hold the tender fish together. My aunt, who lived in Chicago, would come here for visits and head to the nearest fried clam place. Now, clams here are very expensive, as we opt to get the clam strips, which are still fresh breaded and are deep sea clams instead, which are MUCH bigger. It was a Howard Johnson specialty way back when..

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:20AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

ksrogers,

Howard Johnson is the first place I ever had a clam sandwich. It was a location on the Jersey Turnpike (I think) where the Greyhound buses would stop for a rest (1950's era) and my Mom bought me a clam roll and slice of coconut cake. I still have a weakness for both. We were on our way to Boston to visit my Uncle.

DL

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 5:04PM
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melva02(z7 VA)

Zabby, I could have used your help on that dinner! Our waitress/friend guessed the crab sauce had no cream, but when I made it just with chicken stock, wine, butter, and flour, it tasted like gravy! I'm sure an expert sauce-maker could have done better but I would have preferred a cream sauce to what I made. Maybe next time I eat there I'll talk to the guy who made up the recipe. It was a special, it's not always on there. Anyway, ok dinner, but I should stick to cooking vegetables since they're always my favorite part of the dinner anyway...I finished the broccoli and potato cakes but not the halibut.

Thanks to all the feedback, I decided to use up the crab by making crab cakes tonight. I looked at Tyler Florence's recipe (which my friend made once) and kind of estimated for the amount of crab I had. They were good, not very stuck together, but great taste and hardly any filler. I fried some leftover mashed potatoes into potato cakes, sauteed some mushrooms that didn't fit in my shepherd's pie, and spread leftover roasted garlic on bread my friend made & brought. Voila! A delicious dinner for two created entirely from leftover ingredients.

The best part was the drinks, which I made with both the halibut and the crab cakes. Also inspired by my favorite restaurant.

Lavender citrus martini: Mix vanilla vodka with a bit of Cointreau, enough lemon juice to give it a little tartness, and lavender simple syrup (I like it kind of sweet). Delicious!

Lavender simple syrup: Mix equal parts (by volume) sugar and water in saucepan. Add a few sprigs of lavender and boil till sugar dissolves. Cool in a jar in the fridge, leaving in the lavender. Use up within a day or two. Good in the martini, delicious over grapefruit, spectacular in lemonade.

Dancinglemons, glad to see someone else in central VA. I wonder how many of us there are. I was thinking of organizing a berry-picking trip to Westmoreland Berry Farm on the Northern Neck. My kitchen isn't big enough to host a jam-making afterward, but we could have a canned goods pot luck picnic at the berry farm. Maybe I'll make a post in May when it's almost berry season.

Melissa

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:38PM
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kchamber_valinet_com

...out of the can, or do I have to cook it further?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 5:40PM
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