Friday, January 27, 2012

Oven-Roasted Dunganess Crab

I wish one day my husband will get over being picky about seafood.  That he will be open to try new kinds of fish besides halibut and sea bass, and also try shellfish and other edible sea creatures.  There is so much to love about seafood-  it's healthy, delicious and so easy to make.  How much easier it would be to plan dinners if I can add grilled whole fish of different kinds in our dinner rotation.  Unfortunately even if it's sea bass or halibut he won't be enticed with the idea of a whole fish on a plate.  Please, help me understand what is so freaky about a cooked whole fish.

I am a person who loves fish, head and all.  If you present me with a whole fish I will eat every morsel of it.  And the head, oh my -- it's my favorite part with all it's wonderful flavor!  Then I also love all the other creatures from the sea; oysters, clams, sea urchins, crabs... I can't name one I do not like.  Crab is on the top of my list.  I eat crabs (or oysters) when I am feeling low.  They just give me comfort.  You know how some people go to a bar for drinks when they are depressed?  I go to a seafood restaurant and have oysters and crab legs.

Anyway, the other day a dunganess crab ended in my shopping bag.  I had no intention of buying crabs  because husband is not into it, but when I had to add something to my purchase to be able to charge it I know it had to be crabs.  If it was just me I'd simply steam it then dip the meat in vinegar with garlic (that's how my Filipino family do it by the way).  But since I am serving it with dinner, with my picky husband, I know I needed to make it a little more gourmet.  In the end my husband did not even try but that's just because he was too lazy to shell.  When it comes to crabs, I think he will only eat crab cakes or something that's off the shell.  Sorry honey, I love you but I have no time to shell it for ya'.  None for my husband means more crabs for me!  My little foodie enjoyed it too although she can only eat a few chunks of it.  There was plenty of left-overs which lasted a couple of days.  I snacked on it after work and it was one of the best treats.  What I loved about the dish is how the orange-buttery flavor complement the sweetness of the crab.  I can say it's a recipe to impress as long as you don't mind a little mess working with your hands.

Oven Roasted Dunganess Crab
Adopted from Bon Appetit (Feb 2005)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper
2 large Dungeness crabs, cleaned, steamed, and cracked
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 cup regular orange juice
zest of one lemon

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Arrange crab in a heavy bottomed ovenproof skillet (I used a cast iron pan).

In a separate small skillet, melt butter with oil.  Stir in onion and until translucent.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat and drizzle the sauce over the crabs.

Sprinkle thyme and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley over crabs. Toss to combine. 

Place skillet in oven and roast crabs for 7 minutes.  Turn crabs and cook for another 7 minutes or until heated through.  Remove crabs from pan and set aside, leaving the sauce in the pan.

Add orange juice and zest to the skillet and boil until reduced by half.

Spoon sauce over crabs and garnish with remaining parsley.

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