I stumbled upon Capitol Market in Montgomery/AL and stopped there with my husband. Was thrilled to find some live blue crab. The vendor laughed at us as we attemped to handle the crabs–I held the plastic bag open while my husband attemped to put the stubborn crabs in the bag using tongs. Memories of my mum bringing home live crabs, placing them in the sink, and even runnning after them as they made it out of the sink and out the kitchen door came back to me. I had her in my mind as I cleaned and cooked them.
So first clean them after killing them [YIKES!] by dipping them in hot water for a few seconds. Then pry the top shell open with your thumb, or with a knife. My thumb is still sore, so be careful. Then break into two pieces and clean them out from the inside–once you open it you will know what needs to go. It’s no surprise. I placed the cleaned crab in a bowl of ice so they stay fresh.
To cook them you will need:
1) crab in shell of course
2) 2 tblsp of red pepper/chilly sauce
3) 2 tsp of cumin powder
4) 4 cloves of garlic [minced]
5) salt to taste
6) 3 tblsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil
7) 2 tsp of tomato paste
In a big pot under medium heat, add the oil and once it is hot add the garlic and sautee [be careful it does not burn or else it will turn bitter]. Add the red chilly sauce and the cumin and sautee for a few minutes. Then add the crab and salt, and mix well. Let sautee for a few minutes more, and then add the tomato paste and add 1/2 cup of water. The sauce should be thick. Mix well, and leave under medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. If you would like more sauce, you can add more water.
Serve with bread–I personally like French bread–with this dish to wipe the sauce clean off the plate. Enjoy !