Monday, March 16, 2009

Marinated Cracked Crab

So easy, I can do this one with my eyes closed. No measurements in this recipe, just a simple equation of 2/3 oil to 1/3 vinegar. Nana and Papa used to serve this during crab season and always added minced garlic, but upon request, I have eliminated it from our normal version at home. Still, I sneak it in for myself on occasion, or use a garlic flavored olive oil as a final drizzle before serving.

2 cooked and cleaned Dungeness crabs
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
2/3C chopped parsley (half a bunch)
3 cloves minced garlic (optional)

Ingredients for the Salad Dressing:
1/2C mayonnaise
2-3T Perel blood orange vinegar (enough to thin the mayo)


After scrubbing the cooked crab, break it apart by pulling off the legs, then opening the body and pulling out the tamale (you can freeze this for later use), gills and other non edible parts. I usually break the edible body parts into 2 pieces for smaller crabs and 4 pieces for larger crabs. Crack the legs with a meat tenderizing tool or any other heavy tool you may choose like a hammer. Place the crab into a bowl and drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil, then half as much vinegar, and add chopped parsley. Give it a good stir, covering all parts of the crab with the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, stirring the contents every 15 minutes. Easier still, place everything into a zip lock bag and turn the bag as often as you would like. If you're going to use garlic, add it finely minced when you add the parsley.

Half the fun of eating marinated crab is the shelling, so wear an apron or bib and dig right in. Sometimes we eat as we go, but on this occasion, we piled the crab meat on our plates and dressed it with the mayonnaise dressing. I particularly like the Perel flavored vinegars, but a champagne vinegar would work as well and a squirt of lemon would give it the citrus flavor, although I'd probably use real blood orange juice. This dressing is also good as a dip for "eat-as-you-go" crab.

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