I love living in Savannah for so many wonderful reasons: the mild weather, the beautiful architecture, the friendly people and easy access to delicious, fresh seafood. Georgia blue crabs are a family favorite. While they are simple to catch and cook, it can be a challenge to retrieve the meat.
Crabbing is fun. The simplest method is to tie a chicken neck to the end of a fishing line and submerge it in the water. Once the crab “bites” the line you slowly scoop it up with a net.
For those with access to the water, investing in crab traps can really pay off. Just bait the traps, set them in the water and check on them after a few days. This can yield a larger crop with little effort.
I visited my friend Tiffany for an afternoon of crabbing, cooking, cleaning and eating these feisty little crustaceans. After we secured a large batch, we were ready to reap our rewards.
Cooking crabs is just as easy as catching them. Start by simply bringing a large pot of water to a boil. (I always add a couple of tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning to the water.) Add the live crabs to the boiling water and cook for a few minutes. When they turn red, they are ready to be removed and cleaned.
Cleaning a blue crab:
1. Prepare a place. I recommend an outside area that is a near a sink. Set up a table covered in newspaper for easy clean up.
2. Remove claws and set aside to open later with a nut/crab cracker. Discard extra “legs.”
3. Turn crab on backside. Pull back the breastplate and discard.
4. Remove the top shell that is directly above the breastplate.
5. Remove the face of the crab and scrape away the internal organs. Doing this under running water is helpful. Be sure to remove the yellow, feathery gills and throw them away.
6. Break the crab in half and you will see the white meat. Remove this and place into a bowl—if you can wait!!
The following crab cake recipe is my husband’s favorite. It is very simple and really complements the flavor of the crab.
Edwards Crab Cakes
1 pound crab meat (I prefer the white lump. Reserve the claw meat for stew.)
1 tablespoon prepared, spicy or Dijon mustard (choose according to your own taste)
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce
1-1½ cups of breadcrumbs
Drain your crabmeat in a colander and dry with a paper towel. Mix the first seven ingredients together and form into patties. Put on a cookie sheet, cover and chill for a few hours. Remove from refrigerator and roll in the breadcrumbs. You may fry them on top of the stove or place them back on the cookie sheet, top with a little butter and cook in the oven at 350degrees for 7 to 10 minutes.
I hope that this spring you enjoy the bounty of our Earth.
As always, thanks for reading.