Steamed Crabs and Corn
I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I’ve been living in the DC area for nearly four months now, and today was the first time I went to the Maine Avenue Fish Market. Better late than never. Something else you should know: my camera is acting wierd and for some reason only half the pictures I take are getting uploaded. I reformatted my photo card and hopefully that did the trick. If not, I will probably cry.
Luckily it uploaded this picture:
Action shot of crabs being tossed onto the boat. You can see the bushel on the right side of the photo. The fish market was awesome. It was cheap, literally straight-off-the-boat seafood that was maybe a 10 minute drive from our apartment. We got 4 pounds of mussels for $8.50, a dozen crabs for $10 and the boyf got 13 raw oysters for lunch for $11. Like I said: awesome.
I’ve had some bad experiences with buying crabs and then by the time I get them to where ever they need to be, half are dead, therefore inedible. I asked the seafood dude to give me some lively ones, which indeed he did. Many of them were latched on to other ones, and he’d throw both of them into the bag. We brought them home and threw them into the bathtub, where they got a brief rinse and got to run around before meeting their maker. I think the boyf had fun poking at them and making them “dance.” It turns out that crabs make noise: they cluck. We decided they were planning a revolution that involved escaping from the bathtub and taking over the apartment. Good luck. By the time we were ready to steam these bad boys (they were all indeed males), two had died. Boo hoo.
The boyf wanted me to mention that he did the majority of the work for this meal. It’s true. He facilitated the crab “transportation,” which involved moving them from the bathtub to a sieve and from the sieve to the steaming pot. I was too busy shrieking and prancing around the kitchen whenever the crabs got feisty, coating every available surface with Old Bay seasoning.
See, they were feisty little suckers.
To steam them, I put about 1/2 an inch of half vinegar, half water in a large stock pot and got it boiling. Then I put in a steaming rack and we tried to put the crabs in one at a time, but they were holding on to each other so they all just kind of got dumped in. I liberally sprinkled Old Bay on the crabs (and the rest of the kitchen) and we let them steam for about 15 minutes. We also steamed some corn from the farmers market and heated up some sourdough. My mom and dad had given us their crab hammers and knifes since they now live in Wisconsin and clearly have no use for them, so that made the crab dissecting and eating process a lot easier. Yum!
We sat outside at our porch table covered with newspaper eating crabs for a good hour before we both ran out of energy. It seemed like our pile of crabs would just never end. It was then that we discovered that the crab dude had actually given us more like 15 or 16 crabs rather than just 12. Maybe he counted the crabs that were holding on that were holding on to each other as just one crab? Needless to say, we will definitely be going back for more because it was awesome. And cheap. And tasty.
Stay tuned for recipes involving fresh clams and fresh mussels (which have both taken up residence in our refrigerator…).