Pick Big

The difference between stone crab and Maryland Blue is a little bit of flavor, a whole hell of a lot of price and the biggest reason to pay the difference, the size. I’m not saying crab has to be jumbo to be good, I’m just saying the difference in picking the sweet and tender stone crab meat out from a claw that is practically the size of your wrist or cussing your way through shells in miniature with a hammer and tweezer, is me paying the extra 20 bucks. Plus, you don’t have to kill stone crab. Unless you are fishing for it yourself off the back of a boat, the fishermen steam the big guys before they even leave the scene. You can come home from the grocery store, and pull the crab from the shell in one fell swoop, and then eat it just like that. People steam it for about 1 or 2 minutes to heat it up. It’s a hundred and fifty degrees outside in the shade. Forget heating it up. Dip the crab cold into a homemade mayonnaise. Serve it with side of a few arugula leaves (I bought a lot of arugula this week), thinly sliced fresh fennel and thin, thin slices of green apple, dressed with lemon, salt and olive oil and bruschetta made with the best bread you can find, grilled or toasted, then rubbed ever so gently with the flat side of a piece of garlic and a dusted with sea salt.
To make the mayo, use, 1 egg yolk at room temperarture, 1/2 clove of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of dijon (no subsitutes) mustard, a grind of black pepper, a dash of cayenne, and some sea salt. Mix all this together, and slowly, teeny drizzle by teeny drizzle add olive oil until the mayo emulsifies. (About one cup of oil total.) If you want to serve the crab with a fennel, orange, green olive and red onion salad, fold in a half teaspoon of grated orange zest and shreds of fresh basil into the mayonnaise.

One thought on “Pick Big

  1. I’m a big fan of the MD Blue. When we returned to the States we settled in Easton, MD. I grew up close to here in St. Michaels – and eating crabs is a way of life, here on the water. The Blues have gotten smaller over the years but are still unbelievably tasty! I wish more people living in the Chesapeake watershed would take care the Bay!!!

    Catrin gave me your cookbook for my birthday and I just love it. You boost one’s confidence into trying new things. It’s great!

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