Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crab Fettuccine in Alfredo Sauce

Well, Jhan and I have been horribly remiss in posting. With Jhan teaching 2 to 4 nights a week, it has been difficult to make the time to cook, much less takes pictures of it.

Well, a couple of nights ago we grabbed a couple of cooked dungeness crabs from Costco. I grabbed a shot of them in the store on my new Motorola Droid cell phone, but neglected to take any real photos of them before we disassembled them for dinner.

The crabs were cooked, so we didn't have to deal with live, multi-clawed crustaceans attempting to escape from our kitchen (which probably would have resulted in high levels of screaming on Jhan's part, and endless hilarity and mirth on my part).

However, I've rarely had to deal with whole crabs, and while it was fascinating, tediously picking tiny little bits of meat out of seemingly hundreds of minuscule orifices and crannies was, well, tedious. I'm not much into fussy, messy foods, but for crab I'll do it.

Anyway, these two crabs (which we named Crabby and Crabella), resulted in a huge amount of crab meat. The first night we had an all-you-can-eat crab feed with melted butter and garlic. I didn't take any photos of it, but it was incredible and I was stuffed with crab. In the end, we got two dinners (each) and two lunches out of $14 worth of crab.Try coming close to that in any restaurant!

The second night, we went for crab and fettuccine in Alfredo sauce, with cracked pepper, thyme and parsley on top.

Given that it was white meat in white sauce on white pasta, I opted for black plates, just so that we could see the food, much less take pictures of it. I sprinkled the chopped thyme and parsley on top and added creacked pepper to add color and texture to an otherwise bland-looking dish. A sprig of parsley on the side added even a bit more color.

I went with earth tones for the place mat and napkin in order to accentuate the yellows and browns in the pasta.

I'm kind of a neat freak when it comes to my images, so it was really hard to resist the temptation to clone out the stray bits of herbs on the plate, but I managed to leave most of them.

The lighting was a simple as it could possibly be. Though I haven't been doing any real studio work lately, earlier that day I had been playing with some different lighting setups just to see what affect they had on the subject. I came to the conclusion that the simplest lighting is most often the most effective. So I decided to go with a single light for this shoot.

I used a Canon Speedlite 580EX, shot through a large reflector. What about filling the shadows? I simply propped up a piece of white foam core opposite the light source. That's it. Set up time: 45 seconds.

I did minimal work in Photoshop; other than cloning, I only did a vibrance adjustment in ACR.

In the end, the photos of this simple meal came out beautifully. Crabby and Crabella were a delightful couple, and it was a pleasure having the two of them over for dinner.

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