Monday, November 23, 2009
Crab with parsley butter
We were super excited to hear that the California crab season had finally opened, and bought our first crab of the year on Saturday. Crabby was just over two pounds, and had been kept on very cold ice, so s/he was pretty sleepy all day (keep all ocean fish and shellfish as cold as possible without freezing until you are ready to cook it: oceans are about refrigerator temperature, so things that live in sea food will thrive in the fridge, but go to sleep in ice slurries). To cook, bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil, put crabby in the pot nose-first, cover and cook 18 minutes, then move immediately to an ice-water bath to chill at least 5 minutes, so that the meat retracts from the shell.
Along with the crab, we had sourdough baguette and parsley butter, which was amazing. Either by hand in a mixing bowl or in the standing mixer with the paddle attachment, combine butter, salt, mortar-and-pestled garlic, lemon juice, and minced parsley. It's divine.
Always save your crab (and lobster) shells for making soup. The shell imparts a lot of wonderful flavor in the broth. The crab butter is the yellow-white fat from the inside of the shell, and is also tasty, but be careful to remove any internal organs, which are nearby.