STEAMED MARYLAND BLUE CRABS FOR 14
- Cover tables, preferably outdoors, with brown packaging paper and tape. For each pot of crabs, add water, beer, and approximately 1/4 packet of crab boil seasoning to pot. Bring to boil. With gloves on, remove crabs from bushel, you may have to pull them apart (carefully!) and put/shake a few at a time into pot. It is best to grab them from behind to avoid the claws, as their legs only move forward. Add enough crabs to fill bottom of pot. Sprinkle more crab boil seasoning over first layer of crabs. Continue, alternating crabs and seasoning until pot is nearly full, leaving about an inch at the top. Cover tightly. Steam over high heat for 14 to 16 minutes, or until shells are bright orange. Halfway through cooking time, shake pot to redistribute seasoning. When done, remove pot from heat. Drain over sink the accumulated liquid from pot. Spread crabs onto large tray; place in center of table where guests help themselves. Serve with small dishes of melted butter and, for those who like added seasoning, place small bowls of extra crab boil seasoning on table.
- Eating guidelines: It is easier to learn how to eat crabs from an expert, but if none is available, here are step-by-step instructions. First, pull off claws and legs. Break legs and check for meat. Sucking is okay. Some like to save the claws for last because they are rather dessert-like, although the "lump" meat from the body is prized most. Next, turn the crab on its back. You will see an elongated part of the shell that looks like a "T." Some call it the key, even though it doesn't look very much like one. The female key is plumper; the male's is more elongated. Pull the key back, breaking it off, which makes the rest of the shell easy to remove. Now the body of the crab is shell-less. You will now see the long rib-like strips on either side of the cavity. These are the crab's gills. Edible, but not very good. Pull them off, and you will more easily be able to break the crab in half. When you do this, you will most likely now see a good amount of white, fleshy "lump" crab meat. Continue opening the small sections to expose more meat. You will not need mallets or hammers for this. When you are ready for the claws, break them in half at the joint. Take a wooden mallet and whack the large half hard. Don't be shy.
- Other helpful hints: Don't wear your Sunday best. If it tastes good, you can eat it. Plates and cutlery are unnecessary; the brown paper is a communal plate. Bibs are for babies. When finished, steamed hand towels are very welcome. The easiest way to dispose of the mess is to roll up the brown paper with all the shells, etc. on it -- taking care to "rescue" knives, bowls, etc. first -- and discard in outdoor trash can. The garbage may attract animals, so be sure to keep the lid on tight. Note: Leftover crabs are excellent cold, served with a mayonnaise based dipping sauce. Cooked crabs will keep in refrigerator for a few days.
STEAMED BLUE CRABS
For steamed crabs, that beach-town summer standby, the Chesapeake catechism teaches plenty: buy more crabs than you think you need, use more spice, a larger pot. Get wooden mallets. Prepare to eat for a while. If you don't have a crab pot, and most of us don't, fiddle with the largest stockpot or pasta boiler you have. Set a few clean, empty metal cans upside down on the bottom or invert a colander in there, anything that allows you to have a boiling liquid at the bottom and crabs above it, with none of them swimming around in the soup.
Provided by Sam Sifton
Categories dinner, easy, quick, main course
Yield Serves 4
Number Of Ingredients 4
- Place a steamer pot or any large, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid on the stove. (In the latter case, improvise a rack on the bottom of the pot that will keep crabs a few inches from the bottom.) Add the beer, vinegar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Put a layer of crabs on the rack in the pot. Sprinkle with a generous amount of seasoning, then repeat with another layer, and another, until all 12 crabs are in pot (and well seasoned). Cover and steam over medium-high heat until the crabs are bright red, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the crabs with tongs. Serve over newspaper, with mallets and picks.
Nutrition Facts : @context http, Calories 145, UnsaturatedFat 1 gram, Carbohydrate 9 grams, Fat 2 grams, Fiber 1 gram, Protein 15 grams, SaturatedFat 0 grams, Sodium 240 milligrams, Sugar 0 grams
BLUE CRABS STEAMED MARYLAND STYLE
- Also need 1 Large Pot with a raised rack at least 2-4 inches.
- Over high heat in a large crab pot with a raised rack bring equal ammounts of Cider Vinegar and water or beer to a boil.
- (The total ammount should be just below the raised rack about 2-3 cups of each Vinegar and water or Beer.) Mix equal ammounts of"Old Bay" seasoning and"Kosher" Salt (About 2 cups of each to start) Add 4-6 LIVE JUMBO male crabs for each layer and add the combined "seasoning" on top of the crabs.
- Continue with Crabs and a layer of seasoning until at least 12- 14 crabs are in the pot, cover and steam 25- 30 minutes.
- with the lid on!
- (Chop off anyones hand that tries to lift the lid too soon!) When done use tongs to lift out steamed crabs to a table covered with newspapers or brown paper.
- Repeat until all Crabs are Steamed, changing the vinegar and water and adding new "seasoning" to each new batch.
- Serve at once with extra "seasoning" and "crab mallets" to break open claws.
- Or store in brown paper bags in the fridge until needed 4-5 days (NO LONGER!!!).
STEAMED BLUE CRABS
- Combine 1/2 cup seafood seasoning, salt, beer, and vinegar in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring to a strong simmer.
- Right before cooking, carefully place each crab upside down and stick a knife through the shell, just behind mouth.
- Fit a screen over the beer mixture and layer the crabs on the screen. Be sure that the crabs are above the simmering liquid. Cover.
- Steam crabs until they turn bright orange and all of the blue/green color is gone, 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup seafood seasoning before serving.
Nutrition Facts : Calories 183.3 calories, Carbohydrate 8.3 g, Cholesterol 98.3 mg, Fat 2.5 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 21.5 g, SaturatedFat 0.3 g, Sodium 3548.2 mg, Sugar 0.3 g
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