Okay. Yes I am from Maryland. Yes I love Maryland. I grew up fetching fatty blue crabs off the dock in my backyard. Yes we steamed them. With lots of old bay. They were delicious. A typical crab feast in Maryland would consist of beer, cheese and crackers, pickles, vinegar, hot butter, extra old bay, friends, and of course paper towels and CRABS. When I moved down to the Florida Keys my heart still longed for my beloved blue crabs. I would have to settle for stone crabs. Still very tasty, but nothing like home.
I remember the first time my husband accidentally found some blue crabs in our trap. He was like “what the hell is this” while I was all like ERMERGERD. I knew what to do. I steamed those suckers up and shared the wonderful joy that is blue crabs with my husband. Every single year we have gotten better at catching crabs (a ha..ha). Every single year it’s the same. One huge crab feast. The rest of the crabs are caught, cleaned, steamed, and picked down. My freezer is full of blue crab meat. Last year I ended up with almost 15 pounds that lasted me many many months.
The crabbing season usually starts in December, but we have been catching a few dozens here and there early. I wanted to try something different with the blue crabs. How could I make them more gourmet like? I love steamed crabs, but as I have become a foodie over the years– I really like trying different things.
It hit me. New Jersey. NU JOISEY. Yes. I remembered hearing their method of how to eat those charming blue crabs. Put them in a nice ice bath, rip their shells off, clean them, and saute with whatever you want. Yeah. That sounds fun right? Not so much. However I was determined to try. I know it sounds cruel to rip their shells off while they are still “alive” but it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s a very humane way to kill the blue crab. Quickly and efficiently. The best part? ABSOLUTELY no mess to clean up after they are cooked.
- Catch blue crabs. Or buy them whatever.
- Clean them off.
- Put them in super cold ice water.
- Very carefully grab one side of the shell and lift up. It gets easier as you get used to it. The muscles will still twitch and freak you out. They are not alive I promise.
- Remove gills and use the kitchen hose to spray out all the gross stuff.
- Turn over remove aprons, and chop them in half. You can leave them whole, but they take up more room in the pan.
- In a huge saute pan, add 1-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, a ton of chopped garlic, and some old bay. Get it nice and hot on medium heat.
- Add crabs to pan. Cook for 5 minutes. Once shells begin to turn pink, turn over and cover for another 5-7 minutes until completely done.
- Thank me later. I have never tasted such clean amazing yummy crab. It almost tastes exactly like lobster to me.
- If you need to cook another batch, just add more olive oil and garlic. The garlic gets super sweet and the flavor is simply amazing.