Blue Crab Boil
August 20, 2007
The first thing you’ll need to make this a successful dish is a dinner guest who becomes sexually excited by the primal nature of eating with your hands. One who’s not afraid to tear claw from carapace and suck the sweet meat from the shell. Optimally, you’ll invite a young lady—or lad if you prefer—who grew up on the shores of the Chesapeake and was schooled in Paris. A woman who can crack a claw with her teeth and appreciate a bottle of fine wine.
One dozen Chesapeake Bay clams
6 large Chesapeake Bay blue crabs
6 large day boat Atlantic Shrimp
2 ears of local sweet corn, trimmed and cut in half
4 local fingerling potatoes, cut in half diagonally
2 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning
3 cloves of garlic
10 pink peppercorns
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 fresh cayenne pepper, deseeded
Juice of one lemon
Lemon wedges for garnish
2 bottles of Albariño
Cover your table with several layers of the Financial Times. This isn’t to suggest you boast of your financial prowess, David. Everything will just look so delicious when served on pink newsprint.
Start with the clams
In a large enameled stock pot, add half a bottle of Albariño, rosemary, thyme, garlic, cayenne and sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and clams. Steam with the lid on until the clams just open, about 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately with glasses of Albariño and clarified rosemary butter.
The main course
Fill the pot about half way with cool well water, add 2 Tbs Old Bay and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, the corn and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the corn and check the potatoes. They may need a minute or two more.
Detangle the live crabs and bring them to a swift end by submerging them in boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes and remove immediately. Toss the shrimp and the par boiled corn in the pot and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
Season the crabs with more Old Bay and arrange whole lot on the pretty pink newsprint. Garnish with parsely and serve with clarified rosemary butter and red wine vinegar.