Monday, June 11, 2012

Garlic and Chile Roasted Rock Crab

Sean and I went to the Farmers Market yesterday. I only wanted to go to buy some almonds, but of course only buying just one thing is impossible when everything just looks so good. What did we end up buying? 3 baskets of strawberries, 2 bags of Chile Limon almonds, 1 bag of Wasabi almonds, Mexican guavas and some crabs.
Sean loves these almonds. They aren't too spicy, but they do have a slight kick to them. They're the kind of spice where it's addicting and you can't just eat one. Seriously! The first time we bought them, Sean ate almost an entire bag in one sitting. I'm not a big almond person, but I could eat these almonds and not share. I actually bought 2 bags of them so Sean could have one and I would save the other bag so he has another one for later, but honestly I highly doubt he's going to see that second bag.
I was excited when I saw guavas. I haven't had them since I was a kid and eating them definitely takes me back to my childhood. I remember my neighbor had a guava tree in their backyard and I would go over there and pick them. These guavas are soft and full of flavor.

But what I was really interested in was this guy right here. I love crab, but I've never been the one to kill it, let alone touch one alive. I would just look at them from a distance and let someone else deal with it. This was my first time and I was baby about it, but making crab was something that I've been wanting to do. I found this simple recipe on FoodNetwork and thought it would be a good starting point. The amount of chile  really depends on your personal taste. I wish I would have put more or I should have used the dried habanero chile flakes.
Here's the recipe:
(Adapted from Emeril Lagasse)


1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more for cooking the crabs
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 head garlic, minced, peels reserved
1 onion, minced, peel reserved
4 large crabs, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each (Mine were rock crabs)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (plus 1/2 teaspoon habanero chile flakes) or 6 to 8 fresh red chiles
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves


1. Fill a large stockpot two-thirds full of water. Add enough salt so that the water tastes like seawater. Add half of the sliced lemon and the reserved peels from the garlic and onion, and bring to a boil. Plunge the crabs in the water, in batches if necessary, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the crabs from the stockpot and set aside until cool enough to handle.

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

3. When the crabs are cool enough to handle, remove the top shell and apron and discard. Remove the gills and any transparent cartilage and scrape out any crab fat and rinse crabs under cool running water. Place crabs, bottom side down, on a cutting board and halve lengthwise with a heavy knife.
(Sorry there's no photos, I didn't want my camera to get covered in crab juice. Here's a good video I found that shows you how to clean the crab)
Just hanging out waiting to cool
4. Combine 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, the minced garlic, onions, butter, olive oil, crushed red pepper, and black pepper in a large roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven on the lowest rack, and bake, stirring occasionally, until onions and garlic are golden, about 8 minutes. (Do not allow the garlic to burn.) Remove the pan from the oven and add the crab pieces and mix thoroughly so that the crabs are well coated with the garlic and butter mixture. Return the pan to the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until the crabs are heated through and the garlic mixture is braised onto the shells, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped parsley or cilantro, and serve hot.

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