Everyone has a favorite shellfish. For many, it’s lobster. For me, it’s crab. I’ll take crab, nearly ANY crab, prepared in just about any way or in anything, over lobster, shrimp, and even my beloved scallops–any day of the week. Crab is my go-to shellfish, especially when I decide to indulge myself during the holidays.
Among my very favorite crab dishes are fingers of Alaskan King Crab, lightly seasoned with garlic and lemon, rolled on phyllo, baked until crispy golden and then served with a very tarragonny béarnaise sauce for dipping.
OUTSTANDING! Then there’s my Maryland Crab Cakes, which are chock full of succulent, sweet crab, and my Gratin of Crab with Angel Hair Pasta, Mushrooms and Marsala Wine.
At this moment, I’m struggling to get through this without some crab to satisfy my cravings. I can see already that this will NOT be a long blog. Among everyone’s favorite crab during the holidays are stone crabs, and Nino’s Seafood Departments at both Troy and Clinton will have them available on weekend shopping days and by special order.
Stone crabs claws are über-sweet, with a firm flake and a wonderful mild taste. It’s the one crab I enjoy chilled, usually with a mustard sauce (not cocktail sauce). Another great thing about stone crab claws is that they’re actually a renewable seafood resource since when captured, only one claw is harvested. They’re then returned to the ocean where the claw grows once more.
The other most popular crab during the holidays is Alaskan King Crab, which is prized more for the delicious, sweet meat of its legs than its smallish claws. Alaskan King Crab can be enjoyed cold in a salad or chilled with a dip, but it’s more often served hot via a number of cooking methods, including steaming, broiling or baking. For me, if I’m not wrapping them in phyllo, I like them broiled with garlic butter.
If you’re in the mood for crab this holiday, here are a few of my recipes and cooking tips to help you enjoy them to the fullest:
And I have two cooking guides to assist you in choosing just how to cook your crabs.