Sunday, November 30, 2003

Dungeness crab season opened around November 17th. And what better way to celebrate the opening of crab season than to pile in the car and road trip to somewhere to purchase some live crabs! I have never cooked crab before, but -- with Google on my side -- it seemed like an entertaining way to spend a Tuesday.

Having read this article, we decided to head to Half Moon Bay and buy live crabs off the boat. Can't get much fresher than that! Pillar Point Harbor is at the north end of Half Moon Bay. Technically, it is in or just outside of El Granada.

Just go to the Princeton Seafood Company and head to the pier. In our case, we found that we were starving upon arrival and stopped into the PSC to grab a couple of already cooked crabs and some excellent clam chowder. You can buy cooked crab and clam chowder from the seafood market itself-- what is $25 in the restaurant costs less than $15 if you are willing to eat outside (given the "full body" approach that we take to eating crab or lobster, the restaurant would likely rather have us outside).

In any case, after the meal we headed out to the pier to buy some live crabs to take home. The "pier" is actually many piers connected to a central pier that can be driven on. At the end of each "sub pier" is a whiteboard where the fisherman-- mostly (all?) professional-- will write down today's catch.

We picked a pier that advertised crab and fish. At random, it happened to be the pier upon which the Irene docks (the boat mentioned in the article). In any case, we bought 4 huge crabs-- 3lbs/each-- that were live to the point of being difficult to get into the bag and a Rock Fish for a grand total of $40; $3.50/lb for the crab + $6 for the 2.5lbs fish.

Upon returning home, we googled for info on how to prep and cook the crabs. We settled on cooking two crabs using the basic "Boil & clean" method and the other two using the Beer Steamed Crab with Mustard Butter recipe (only we used Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale and a bunch of home grown chilies including both traditional chile peppers and some scotch bonnets).

It was crabtastic. Very, very tasty.
4:12:09 PM  pontificate