So, I’m writing a cookbook. And considering that I’ve been working on said cookbook for almost as long as my husband has been in grad school- and the fact that he just graduated- it’s about time I wrap this project up, me thinks! It’s, well… you’ll see, because I’ll periodically post some recipes here. Just know that I don’t in any way put on airs about my cooking skills, but we cook at home constantly, so… that’s gotta count for something.
King Crab Legs
(sand crab image courtesy of Caetano Lacerda. Just use your imagination because there were no king crab images on the free image website I use. If those grains of sand were cars you’d have the scale almost right for king crab)
Here’s the thing, this meal is not cheap- but it is one of the quickest, fastest, hardest to mess up meals you’ll ever have to make. How many ingredients are there? One. Crab legs. That’s it. So why is this going to be in a cook book, you ask? Aside from how easy this one was on the lovely author to write, the more important (up for debate) answer is: technique.
Before we get into technique though please know that there are LOTS of crabs out there to choose from, but I picked king crab for the simple reason that it is my very favorite. The meat is easy to remove from the shell and the taste is sweet and clean. Sure, snow crab legs are less expensive, but to me they have an undertaste of garbage and mud (similar to mangoes that way). But this is coming from the chick who prefers Mediterranean sea salt to any other kind and swears she can taste the difference, so take my preferences on crab with a grain of Mediterranean sea salt.
I also like eating king crab because their leg span is up to 6’ and that makes me feel like some kind of monster-eating Greek god. “Verily, what is that leggy monstrosity, Hermes? Bring it to me and let us ingest it with copious amounts of melted butter! And what are the Sibyls up too these days? Oh ho ho! And they didn’t see that coming, you say?! Oh that is as rich as this crab-monster!”
Soo… back to the crabs. When I say crab, you say…boil, I bet. Boil, boil, boil… crab boil. The term crab boil is in the dictionary, so it has to be the correct technique, right? Nope. Please note- crab boils are ONLY for smaller, whole and uncooked crabs! All king crab legs (snow crab too) are ALREADY cooked! Are the crab legs in the seafood section reddish orange? Yup- that means they’re already cooked so do not boil them! Doing so does nothing except ruin the texture and dilute the flavor- all you really need to do is to steam them to reheat.
King crab legs- figure on around ¾ of a pound per person
*(try not to get the large white top joints- those don’t have the same flavor as the legs)
In a large pot over high heat, add enough water to just cover the bottom with about a half-inch of water and bring to a boil to create your steam. (Watch carefully so you don’t boil your pot dry.) If you can fit a colander or steaming basket in the bottom, do so now: but if you don’t have them it isn’t the end of the world- just try to have as little of the crab touch the water as possible. Add your crab legs, cover with the lid, and steam for 5-7 minutes. Remove to a platter for serving, leaving the steaming liquid behind. Go ahead and dump that steaming water out and wash that pot as fast as you can because the smell… the smell is not what the crab tastes like, we’ll just put it that way.
Serve with melted butter and lemon.
(Totally counting this as a legitimate recipe for the cookbook.)