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Seriously spicy crab boil


Kim WB
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Hi..just came from the farmer's market,a nd a fresh load of medium sized crabs was coming in from the back of the pickup.. had these a few weeks ago, a nd they were tasty..but my traditional old bay spice mixture lacked oomph.

Any suggestions on a crab boil spice misture that would work..or what I can do to "doctor up" the old bay reicpe?

And please, no comments on how steaming is better..I am married to a crab boil purist. :laugh:

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Do it right-use Zatarains's Liquid if you have a few crabs, or Zatarain's Pro Boil if you have a hamper full.

There are other brands down here, but I much prefer Zatarain's. I have boiled, literally, tons of crawfish with that stuff and hundreds and hundreds of crabs. It works and it is just about fool proof (it works for me-and I am a fool and I can prove it :wacko::laugh: ).

Have Fun.

Brooks

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I could try to convince you to cook these in a big pot with butter, olive oil with a ton of garlic and parsley, pepper flakes and a few cans of budweiser or rolling rock as the cooking liquid but I don't think I would succeed. :laugh:

As to the Zatarains, my understanding is real fanatics use both the liquid boil and the dry boil in COMBINATION for maximmum effect.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Jason, this is an argument that will never end. Sort of like who was the best natural hitter in the history of baseball? (Ted Williams, obviously-don't bother arguing).

But you are right, a combination is the way to go when boiling large amounts. I use the pro boil in combination with the bags of whole spice. I know alot of people who swear by the big jugs of dry only.

Incidentally, I add lemons, whole garlic, celery, onions, cayenne, and salt (you have to add salt when using these products. They are not salty and are designed to have it added. The spice WILL NOT come through without the addition of salt in the boil water).

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Jason, I agree that your method sounds great...but in any good marraige, you need to pick your battles. I chose some hideously expensive crown molding for the dining room this week...he gets his crabs boiled! :laugh:

Brooks, it sounds like you have a good idea of what I'm looking for, so I'm on a quest to find Zatarains..I'm going to give Wegman's a call to see if they carry it.

thanks

Edited by Kim WB (log)
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This article by Picayune Food Editor Judy Walker appeared in the Food Section of the New Orleans Paper on Thursday. I concerns the many uses for crab boil. I thought you might find it interesting.

And Marcelle Bienvenue had a piece on crabs as well. I know I have said it a million times, but I love the way Marcelle writes and her recipes are always great.

Marcelle Loves Blue Crabs Alot

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Jason, this is an argument that will never end. Sort of like who was the best natural hitter in the history of baseball? (Ted Williams, obviously-don't bother arguing).

But you are right, a combination is the way to go when boiling large amounts. I use the pro boil in combination with the bags of whole spice. I know alot of people who swear by the big jugs of dry only.

Incidentally, I add lemons, whole garlic, celery, onions, cayenne, and salt (you have to add salt when using these products. They are not salty and are designed to have it added. The spice WILL NOT come through without the addition of salt in the boil water).

brooks - of course ted williams was first (followed by his acolyte carl yazstremski) but i hate to tell you finding zatarin's here in nj is next to impossible!!!

can you set up a humanitarian drop for us who used to be able to get it?

(you do know i have my tounge firmly planted in my cheek, right? :shock: )

but only kinda since you really can't find anything but the zatarin's rice easily up here in north jersey. we can get mccormicks crab boil though :hmmm:

i used to add lemon, garlic and celery salt as well to augment the taste.

Edited by suzilightning (log)

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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BTW kim if you are gonna bother to use Zatarains, make sure you throw some red potatoes and some corn into that pot as well. I'd also slice up a kielbasa or any generic smoked sausage (which imparts a nice flavor to the crabs) and throw it in too. Even if you dont eat all that extra stuff the first night, it is great on the next day. I would also use some wine or beer as the boiling liquid in addition to the water, and some sliced up lemons.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Well, we used a simple crab boil recipe from Emeril's Real and Rustic Book..but tweaked it with Brook's advice...and the recipe had most of the elemetns of jason's suggestion..and the combo of this produced some mighty fine crabs.

I found Zatarains dry boil easily enough..wound up using Panola plantaition liquid, purchased as Suzy Hot Sauce in New Hope PA. It's from lake Providnece LA. Added corn, lemons, onion, new potatoe, 2 bags of boil mix, cayenne, and kielbasa. Brought to a boil, put 18 crabs in, let them cook 5 minutes,a nd then sit for 15.

Great flavor, noticeable but not overly dominating spice, so you could still taste the sweet meat..these were smaller crabs..lots of work for a few morsels..but great tasting, with Rouge Dead Man's Ale, coleslaw, and a big batch of beans and rice...lined the table with newspapers, put the cooler full of beer on the floor next to us...great evening with great friends.

thansk for you help and suggestions.

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If you add vegetables just make sure and adjust your salt. They will soak up the salt and your boil will taste like cereal.

A few years back we did a big crawfish boil. I used pro-spice bags, a large bottle of cayenne etc. I used what I considered a bunch of salt two large handfuls of kosher salt. Well it tasted totally bland. So I asked our in house expert born and raised in Southern Louisiana. His question was "how much salt did you use” I told him a bunch two handfuls. He started to laugh and told me to use more like a box. So we did this with the "left over" 25 Lbs. It rocked!

Never trust a skinny chef

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