Since T.B.'s Yum Diary is on hiatus, this my attempt to post Yum Diary-style.Seafood haters, close your eyes for this post. It's Dungeness Crab season here on the West Coast and it appears that I am CUCKOO for eating crabs when they are fresh. I'm in perma-crab-craving-obsession mode over here.
Last weekend, I went to Art's Crab Shak in Oakland to get my fill. The service is a little crabby but the crabby crab was really tasty, so it was deal-able (and there were flat screen TVs for the football freaks in company). It comes served with a heaping portion of salty, garlic-y mushrooms that drip buttery goodness on the bottom of the plate that you can dip your garlic bread in. In retrospect, it occurred to me that the prices for Art's "buckets" of crab aren't so bad after you realize what HARD work it is to make fresh crab. Yesterday, I was determined to DIY crab, so I went over to the local, cheap Asian market and braved the Chinese New Year preparing masses to get a few live ones for $3.99/lb.Then I got home and realized I had to kill 'em. That part is always little sketchy, one of my four crab dudes started walking across my counter top in an escape effort. Internet advice told me to pet them to sleep and then drop 'em boiling water. Uh, no thanks. This youtube wanted me to whack 'em upside the head and get all crazy cutting them up live. I did sort of a combo of things that I won't go into the grizzly details about. Fortunately, the holidays gifted me with a pot big enough to do this.After I finished boiling them up and had cleaned all the meat out, I was pretty tired of dealing with the undesirable parts of the crab goo. I stuck the sweet crab meat in the fridge and this morning they turned into to little crab cake sammiches from a Elle Decor recipe (of all places). They were pretty good. It called for some gherkins to be in the remoulade sauce. We realized that for some reason, it's pretty fun to talk about gherkins. Was it worth all the work? Dunno... It was tasty, but still a lot of effort. I don't think I'm done, crabbin' it up just yet. I've got a half pound left. I've got to use it wisely. Perhaps I will freeze it and save it for crab dip for a Superbowl party treat? Because I love (not really) the football. Maybe carrot soup with crab? I'm not sure yet.
For my next hankering, I think I am headed to the wharf or a new crab destination like Duarte's in Pescadero, where someone else does all the crabby clean-up. Have you had any crab adventures this season? Crab tips? Gimme more...
PS- In other good local food news, I discovered this local organic popcorn that I was previously longing to try is now available at local Market Hall stores and is soooo good!