A few weeks ago we decided we wanted to do our Valentine’s Day dinner at home instead of in a restaurant. It was Lily’s idea to cook crab for this dinner. Dungeness Crab is native to the Pacific Northwest so naturally when I lived there I ate a lot of it. Eating it here in Texas is not the same… until today! A couple weeks ago I went to my local grocery store and ordered them for today’s dinner. My friend Angela and her sister Vanessa came over and joined us.
Did you know that the crabs make noise? It’s like a gurgling sound. Here is the first crab I photographed. Does he look happy?
Lily really enjoyed picking them up. JP teased her that she should take the rubber bands off of their pinchers. She totally would have done it if I hadn’t stopped her.
Here is all 5 of them.
You have to remember that I haven’t cleaned a live crab in a very long time so I was a little bit nervous. Here is the first one alive and ready to be cleaned.
If you are in Seattle and you catch them yourself it is illegal to keep female dungeness. You can easily tell the difference between male and female. See the funny shapped abdomen thing on this guy? That’s how he reproduces. The female abdomen is much wider. In order to get the shell off I took the end of my knife and hit the abdomen part a few times until it started to come loose.
Once it was loose I wedged my finger and a knife between the top and bottom part of the shell until I could feel it start to rip apart.
There is lots of watery juicy grossness that comes next so I put it over the sink.
Once the shell gives loose a little bit its pretty easy to rip it the rest of the way.
After the top shell is removed you have to clean out the guts, lungs/gills, etc.
Then you break it in half and clean the remaining stuff off of it and it will look like this.
This is what a crab would look like if it didn’t have legs!
Here is our pile of crab legs waiting to be boiled. We don’t put anything in our water because I like the taste of pure crab with no seasoning.
While everyone stood there and watched me cleand them no one was really interested in helping. But JP did help me get them boiled. They cook in less than 10 minutes.
Here is the full plate of boiled crab legs. Is your mouth watering?
Next thing we needed to do was set the table. I think this is the first meal we had at this table since we have lived here!
And of course we had to use the china and the crystal.
What would a fancy dinner be if we didn’t have champagne?
Everything turned out perfect! Even the shrimp cocktail was delicious.
And for desert we had a cherry cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.
After dinner everyone one was happy and full.