Summer = Crabs

31 Aug

Every year I look forward to summer. It’s not the beach I’m jonesing for, it’s the crabs. Maryland blue crabs! We steam them in Rolling Rock and add a little Old Bay. Mmm. The resulting sauce is also great on capellini.

Blue Crabs with Capellini
Serves 4

15 live blue crabs
1 lb. capellini
4 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. garlic powder
3 Tbsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. Old Bay
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. parsley flakes
7 oz. bottle of Rolling Rock beer

Chill the crabs for easier handling (a 5 minute soak in an ice water bath will do the trick). Clean the crabs thoroughly. Handle them by holding the backfin near the body. Remove the claws by breaking them at the body joint. Position the crab and take off the back shell, remove the gills and all of the innards. In running water, use a vegetable brush to brush any mud off of the body and any residue in the body cavity. Keep the crabs chilled if they are not going to be cooked immediately.

In a large stock pot, position the crabs flat on the bottom of the pot (backs down) so that the body cavities are fully exposed (7 or 8 crabs). Sprinkle half of the garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, seasoned salt, paprika, and parley flakes over the crabs. Pour about 2 Tbsp. of olive oil on the crabs. Place the next layer of crabs on top of the first and repeat. Toss all of the claws on top. No seasoning needed.

Pour the beer over the crabs. It’s important not to use a 12 oz. bottle or can because the sauce will be diluted. I prefer Rolling Rock because a stronger beer may detract from the flavor of the crabs and seasoning.

Cover the pot and steam the crabs on high heat for 20-25 minutes, turning the crabs after the first 5 minutes with a long spoon. During cooking, turn the crabs a few times until they are loosely assembled in the pot and equally cooked. All of the crabs should turn red with no traces of blue. When that occurs, the crabs are cooked. Turn off heat, but keep the lid on.

Boil water and cook the capellini. Pour a good helping of the crab sauce in a serving bowl and add the capellini. Toss the sauce and pasta together and let it sit for a few minutes so the sauce can be absorbed. Serve!

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