Friday, August 12, 2011

From Crab Net to Crab Cake

Warning: If you're the type of person who doesn't want to know where your food comes from, this is not the post for you. Turn back now. Before it's too late and you never eat crab again.

Step 1: Use chicken bait to trap your crab in a net. Trap him in a cooler. Watch him claw at the other crabs. These are some mean looking little crustaceans. 

Step 2: Boil crabs in crab boil. This part reminded me of the lobster scene in Julia & Julie. I let Doc do the honors of putting the crabs in the boiling pot of death. Follow directions on the bag and be prepared to open a window. The smell of this stuff is not pleasant. Let them soak in crab boil water overnight.

Step 3: This is the fun part. Not. This is why crab meat is so expensive. It's easier to have two people. Doc did the first few steps and I did the more tedious "picking" part. Remove the apron of the crab. Turn the crab upside down and the apron is the little triangle looking thing on on the edge of the crab and can be snapped off with your thumb and forefinger.

Step 4: Pull the top shell away from the crab and discard. Twist off the legs and save those, if desired. Then remove the gills. We did not realize crabs had gills. We (and by "we" I mean Doc) may have eaten said crab gills the night before and wondered why the crab didn't taste very good. This is why you Google people. So you don't eat crab gills. If unsure, Google it.

Step 5: Rinse the body and cut in half or in quarters based on the size of the crab. You want to be able to stick a knife inside each part and pull out the meat. On some of the crabs there was some orange gunk that was hard. I do not know (nor do I want to know) what that is, put we discarded t.

Step 6: As you pull out the meat, squish it through your fingers to removed as much as the shell as possible. Little bits will get through and that's okay!

Put in a bowl and refrigerate until you're ready to use. Our 22 crabs were caught with one chicken quarter in about an hour and a half on the Fort Morgan pier (just passed where the ferry lands). It took about an hour to clean the crabs, but we got faster as we moved along. We made crab cakes with a Zatarain's Crab Cake Mix and dipped in comeback sauce. Divine.

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