|8 gallons||Stockpot fitted with raised rack; see * Note|
* Note: You can use bricks wrapped in cloth to raise your rack about six inches off the bottom. It's best to keep the crabs on ice. If you are unable to do so, make certain to wet them before you season them. The water helps the seasoning adhere to the crab's shell. PREPARING THE POT: Begin by placing the rack in the bottom of the pot, raising it with the bricks, if necessary. It is important that the crabs not get wet while they're being steamed. Add about six cups of water (enough to reach halfway to the rack or bricks), so the water can boil without submerging the crabs, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Vinegar adds some zing to the crabs, and also keeps them from tasting too fishy. Next, pour in eight ounces of beer. STEAMING THE CRABS: Make a layer of crabs, and cover the crabs with one-eighth to three-quarters of an inch of of crab seasoning. Rob recommends using as much seasoning as your taste buds can handle. Keep the lid off the pot until the steam starts to rise through the crabs. Then cover, and steam for thirty to forty minutes, or until the crabs are bright red. Remove them with tongs or rubber gloves. According to Rob, using rubber gloves makes handling easier, preventing you from burning your hands -- or inadvertently dropping any crabs. "PICKING" THE CRABS: Let the crabs cool slightly before you handle them. Dump them onto sheets of brown kraft paper or newspaper.
You'll need small wooden mallets and paring knives for this -- and your bare hands! Break off the pincer claws and legs, and set them aside. Place the crab on its back, and insert the tip of your knife into the "apron," the flap on the underside of the shell. Pull it up and back to pry off the shell. Next, pull out the gills and the "dead man' fingers," the spongey matter surrounding the gills. Fold the shell inward, and crack it in half.
Cracking it inward, rather than outward, makes removing the meat easier.
After pulling out the white top meat with your fingers, pull back on the back fin (it looks like a lump) near the back of the shell. This meat is particularly delicious. Save the claws for last. Insert a paring knife about a third of the way into the soft-ish white joint, then twist to separate the claws into two pieces. Use a wooden mallet to crack the shells. Serves 6.
Cuisine: "Mexican" Source: "Martha Stewart Living - (www.marthastewart.com)" S(Formatted for MC5): "by Lynn Thomas - Lynn_Thomas@..."
Per serving: 24 Calories (kcal); 0g Total Fat; (0% calories from fat); trace Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 3mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates
Recipe by: Recipe from Rob Cernak Converted by MM_Buster v2.0n.
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