If you know me, you know that one of my ultimate weaknesses is seafood. I just love it. All of it...well aside from eel. I can't eat eel, but I digress...oh yes, seafood is my absolute favorite and lucky for me living on the East Coast seafood is a staple in our area.
Crabs come in lots of different varieties; King Alaskan, Dungeness, soft shell and the Atlantic Rock Crab. I think crabs tend to get a bad rap compared to their friend the lobster. People tend to think lobster is high end in taste as it is in cost, but truth is, crab meat is so much better and far less expensive. If you have ever had imitation crab meat real crab meat tastes nothing like that. Imitation, for the crab was not the most sincerest forms of flattery there at all. The Rock Crab is sweet and super tasty especially in this recipe below that I am sharing with you all today.
BASIC BOIL RECIPE:
First boil the crabs. I like to have two crabs per person and this recipe will be written for one serving. To boil the crabs fill a large pot halfway with water and one 12 ounce beer (I used Bud Lite). Add 1/4 cup of salt, two tbsp of crushed garlic and one tbsp of crushed red pepper and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. You can eat them like this which is good, but for this recipe continue as follows. Allow it to cool. Once cool, crack into pieces and place in an oven safe baking dish. Now your ready for magic to happen. I promise you will never look at crabs the same way again!
SWEET & BUTTERY NEW ENGLAND ROCK CRABS
2 Rock Crabs
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 olive oil
4 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp crushed red pepper (I used the fresh kind, if you are using dry use only 2 tsp)
1 tbsp parsley
2 tsp of thyme
crusty bread (optional)
In a medium size sauce pan bring olive oil, butter and orange juice to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and add garlic, red pepper, parsley, thyme and orange zest from the orange. Cut orange in half and squeeze one half over mixture. Save other half to slice as garnish when plating. Cook for 4 minutes to help flavors marry. Remove from heat.
Place prepared crab pieces in an oven safe dish (use a dish that allows the crab to all lay as close to the bottom as possible in order for it to marinate in the sauce. Pour sauce all over the crab pieces and place in the oven for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from heat and enjoy! Plate and garnish. The sauce is so good you will definitely want to get some nice crusty bread too! You will definitely thank me for this recipe! I promise you!!!
*I would imagine this recipe would work with other types of crabs like the soft shell for sure!