Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blue Claw Crabs in Season

It's blue-claw crab season and the bay is abundant with crabs.
Actually, you can catch crabs on Long Island all summer, but it is not until late August into September that they are full size.
An interesting thing has been happening though, and my husband and I don't know why.
Usually, we throw the females back into the water so they will reproduce. This year we have only caught males, no females.
Just an observation, but I wonder why?
How do you cook crabs?
Do you have a favorite recipe? Do you steam them?
Well, this is how we make them in our family, a recipe handed down from my parents:
When you catch the crabs, immediately kill them with a sharp knife through the body.
(In my opinion, this is much more humane than steaming them alive, but I guess that's debatable!)
Then clean them by pulling off the top shell and cleaning out the insides. (I also know some people eat the insides, but we don't.)
When they are clean, throw them into a fresh pot of tomato sauce. 
That's it! Cook up some pasta and serve.
The crabs and sauce are so sweet this way.
 It is a messy dinner, so be prepared with lots of napkins, a washable tablecloth and don't forget the nut-crackers and picks.
Here is a another hint:
If you only catch a few and/or are not ready to eat them, freeze them after cleaning.
Keep adding cleaned crabs to the freezer in zip-lock bags until you have enough.
Sometimes we catch crabs all week and make the sauce on the weekend.
It's an inexpensive dinner and so delicious!
Long Island Blue-Claws! Mmmmm!