In college, my Aunt Dona and Uncle Jon and cousin Sawyer lived a few hours away - so I would visit them on short breaks. They are amazing cooks. My Aunt recently started her own chickie hut and raised little baby chicks into chickens. They have always had a garden. Their home is like a page out of Pottery Barn and I love it. One Easter I spent with them, Aunt Dona took me into Philadelphia to the famous indoor open air market (I forget the exact name of it right now, but it was very cool). There, we gathered some Dungeness crabs. I had never had them before - only blue crabs and Alaskan King Crab legs. These crabs are HUGE:
I still remember that the crab was fantastic, but it was one of the longest meals of my life. It was one of the first times I realized there are different types of crab eaters - some eat the meat as they pick it, and some take all of the meat out of the crab and create a pile. Since this Easter dinner, I transformed from a pick it and eat it to a pick it and keep it. Now, I don't always abide by my transformation - sometimes I just demolish crab legs. Dungeness crabs just deserve a little more respect. They also have 5 times more meat than you can handle.
This Easter, I will not be eating Dungeness crabs. I will be in the library, eating almonds, coffee and water to continue studying for my Con Law exam on Tuesday morning.
I will, however, leave you with my own recipe (half stolen from a foodnetwork.com recipe) to make crab legs.
Morgan's Magical Crab Legs
Alaskan Crab Leg clusters (My friend Katie and I have taken out 3 clusters each....but we reward ourselves after we turn in papers or take exams) (also the ones we get from our grocery store as usually frozen and come in packs of about 4 or 6 depending on weight)
1-Six Pack of Magic Hat #9 Beer (or similar good beer)
1 aluminum roasting pan (the ones you throw away after)
2 packs of crab boil (or Morgan's New Old Bay Seasoning [see below])
Morgan's New Old Bay Seasoning:
Pepper (whole pepper corns)
2-3 Bay leaves crushed or broken up
Garlic (diced or dry)
1 lemon - sliced and tossed into the pan.
(the measuring amounts of this are really dependent on how strong you want the seasoning. I use a few pinches of kosher salt and my parents got me a new spice rack for Christmas - so a few shakes of each spice all over the crab legs. The pepper and the bay leaves are probably the most important part of this)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Put all the clusters in the roasting pan so they are somewhat flat (so adjust them accordingly). Pour the entire 6-pack of Magic Hat over the crab legs until they are mostly submersed in the beer. Put in the crab boil packets (one at each end) or scatter the ingredients for Morgan's New Old Bay Seasoning all over the legs. Place in the oven for 45min to an hour. Set a time for half way through and turn all the legs over at the half way point. They should come out with the legs/shell crispy and the meat tender and juicy.
HAPPY EASTER!!! ENJOY TODAY.
PS Here is a picture of Carmen being adorable: