Crab Boil: A Little Taste of the South / by MEAT ME

Hungry. It seems that's all I have been lately. These past few months I have been training everyday to run a half marathon in November.  After 5 to 7 miles of running everyday I can't stop to over whelming feeling of hunger. Hell, I can't remember the last time I blogged about what I was eating. With filming and retouching sucking up most of my time blogging has had to take a back seat. I know most of you were hoping for more MEAT Inc. episodes unfortunately this recipe will have to do for now.

I remember last year around this time I was in New Orleans chowing down on anything and everything I could get my hands on. These days anytime it's hot out my cravings instantly shift to Southern. Last night I decided to use my down time to cook up a Crab Boil. 

With a quick trip to the store I was able to pick up, (the full recipe is at the bottom) 1 sack of baby red potatoes, 1 pound of king crab legs, 1 onion, 1 head of garlic, 1/2 pound of shrimp (you can get a pound, my girlfriend isn't a fan), 4 dried chili peppers, 4 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, 2 lemons, some cajun style andouille sausage, and 2 ears of corn. 

This dish is a lot of fun. There are no rules you just throw in what you think will taste good. It's pretty hard to fuck up. In some cases you can swap the crab legs out for 12 whole fresh crabs. This particular dish was big enough for 2 to 3 people so you can easily double the ingredients to serve more. 

First you wanna grab the biggest stock pot you have. Start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes. Then separate the garlic cloves from the head. I like to use as many natural and/or organic products as possible. I figure the less chemicals in my food the better it will be for me. 

I used to spend hours peeling back the layers of skin on garlic, it would take forever. One day I slammed my knife on the counter in frustration only to find out that squashing the garlic was the best way to get the job done. I consulted some of my chef friends and it turns out I'm an idiot and everyone does it that way anyways. So you're welcome.

Now once the garlic is peeled and the onions are chopped in to 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces (these are just for flavor btw) go ahead and shuck the the corn and cut it into halves. Why? Cause giant pieces of corn in a pot look obnoxious when you have a food blog...

The third step is to clean the shrimp. Asian restaurants that serve shirmp tempura don't usually do this and it fucking grosses me out. You're eating shimp poop. It won't kill you, I just don't like the idea of eating another animals shit. In the cooking world they call this peeling and deveining.

Next you are going to pull out your 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and pour out a 1/4 cup of sea salt. Set this aside cause you will be throwing it all together in your pot.

Once everything is ready you will half your 2 lemons. Don't worry about the seeds, cause if you try to remove them you will probably loose extra lemon juice that would have been better off in your pot for more flavor. Now you will pour in 4 quarts of water. Turn your heat to high and throw in 2 TBLS of distilled white vinegar, your crab boil (I use Zatarain's cause it's easy and taste good), 4 bay leaves, 4 dried chile peppers, 3 sprigs of thyme, garlic cloves, 1/4 of a cup of sea salt, and lemons. You want to bring all of this to a rolling boil. 

Once you reach the rolling boil add in the crab, potatoes, corn, onions, sausage, and shrimp. Wait for that to get back to a rolling boil then time it for 5 minutes with the lid on. After your 5 minutes turn off the fire and let it rest with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes. Then (this part I did not do because I was hungry) throw in a bowl of ice. This helps the crabs absorb the seasoning and prevents it from over cooking.

Then let the crab stand in water for at least 1 hour before serving. The crabs can be served warm or completely cooled. I like it warm or really hot so I did not let it sit for 1 hour, but you can cause you're awesome.

Last but not least I take out what I want to eat, put it in a giant bowl, and go to town. Some times I will sprinkle on Creole Seasoning just to give it a little texture. I also got some french bread and toasted it. In New Orleans it seemed every dish came with it so I felt it needed it.

Here is exactly what you need:
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
1 Zatarain's Crab Boil
4 bay leaves
4 dried chile peppers
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup of sea salt
2 lemons, halved
1 pound of crab legs (or 12 fresh crabs)
1 pound of shrimp peeled and deveined
4 cajun style andouille sausage (cooked and/or cured)
3 pounds of red potatoes scrubbed 
2 ears of corn shucked and cut into halves or thirds
1 onion (10 ounce)
1 bag of ice

Enjoy this, it is fun and easy and if it's for a special occasion you will almost always get lucky...

Happy Summer,
Sean Rice

Note* I will be at the Huntington Beach BBQ Competition this weekend so I hope to see you there.