Sunday, July 13, 2014

Crabby goodness

Maryland blue crabs, steamed with olive oil, garlic, hot pepper, parsley, white wine.   A much longed-for summertime treat. 

The crabs' watery graveyard.

A dozen-and-a-half feisty crabs were dispatched in a sinkful of hot water. They're gone after about a minute.  Doesn't take long. 

Cleaning the crabs.  

Top shells were pulled off, and the undesirable bits of gut pulled out, and the carcasses brushed under cold running water. I'm not one to start picking guts out of the crabs at the table, though I'm sure some would argue that they bring added flavor.  Let them argue. 

 A cleaned crab, ready for the pot.
The rubber gloves help -- lots of pinchy points on these critters. 

Crabs in their garlicky, winy steambath

A very large pot (this one is the bottom of a big clam steamer) was filmed with olive oil,
half the crabs added, which were then strewn liberally with garlic, chopped parsley,
hot pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and a few more glugs of olive oil.  Repeat with the other half of the crabs.

Half a bottle of white wine (in this case, a pinot grigio from the Veneto), was added, the lid put on, and the crabs steamed over high heat. 

After about 5 minutes, the lot was stirred up, the lid put back on, and the crabs steamed for another 5 minutes.

 Finished crabs, ready for picking.

A pound of linguine were cooked, and the pot liquor, an elixir of olive oil, garlic, parsley, hot pepper, white wine, and crab juices, was poured over them.  

Grated pecorino was passed at the table.  (Shhh!  Don't tell the Italians.  They would not approve!)

Chewy Italian bread was served alongside.  An occasional slice may have accidentally fallen into the juices in the pasta bowl.  

We drank the remainder of the bottle of pinot grigio with our dinner.   

One of my Italian colleagues once told me, "Il pesce nuota tre volte -- primo, nell'acqua; secondo, nell'olio; terzo, nel vino."  Anche i granchi!

Well-picked and well-eaten. 

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