August 30, 2008

Blue Crab Boil!!

This morning, TLMM and JAM set out to find scallops at our local seafood market. Imagine my surprise when they returned with at least three dozen live blue crabs!! Fortunately, I had Zatarain's, lemons and Old Bay Seasoning on hand. We carefully put the crabs in a large cooler covered in a thin layer of ice. You don't want to dump a lot of ice on live crabs because as the ice melts, they will drown. Your goal is to keep these little buggers alive until you cook them.

I didn't have a super huge stock pot to use to boil the crabs, so I used a large pot and cooked them in three batches. A dozen at a time was perfect since that is what the instructions on the Zatarain's box called for.

Simply follow the instructions on the box (I had two boxes of regular and one box of spicy). We have a burner on our propane grill, so I decided to do the boiling outside. Any part of crab cooking you can do outside is a good thing. Trust me on this!

Put 3 quarts of water, 4 tablespoons of salt, the pouch of seasoning and a quartered lemon in a large pot.  Add a teaspoon of vinegar to make cleaning the crabs easier later.  Bring to boil.  Add crabs.  Boil crabs for 6 minutes for medium-sized crabs. Turn off heat and let them sit in water for 20 minutes. Remove, cool and either eat them immediately or refrigerate until you're ready to eat!  

The recipe is easy- it's the cleaning and eating where the work comes in.  You can either clean them "a la Pop" (pick some crabs clean until you have a nice, tidy pile of crabmeat, then go wash your hands and then eat) or just eat them like normal people do (pick and eat all at once)!  Use a small wooden mallet or a hand held nutcracker. Dip in hot melted butter. You are guaranteed fresh, delicious, sweet sweet crab meat...and the eggs.

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