Scoop the crabs out of the hot oil with a wireskimmer. Let them cool just until they can be handled,then serve them right away with cold beer.
Ater experimenting with several home equivalentrecipes or this iconic seasoning, I came up withmy own blend. Only my version isn’t really like theoriginal. I omitted the cloves, because I don’t likethe aroma. And I substituted
de la Vera
or the paprika, because I like the smoky avor thatthe Spanish paprika adds. I also added some tastybut expensive spices like mace and cardamom thatyou won’t fnd in the commercial stu.
MakES aBout 1 Cup
2 tablespoons salt1 tablespoon celery salt1 tablespoon ground mustard2 tablespoons smoked paprika (pimentón)½ teaspoon ground mace½ teaspoon cayenne pepper½ teaspoon black pepper½ teaspoon red pepper akes½ teaspoon ground cardamom½ teaspoon ground bay leaves About ½ cup sugar
In a large measuring cup, combine the salt, celerysalt, mustard, paprika, mace, cayenne, black pepper,red pepper akes, cardamom, and bay and mix well.(Tis should measure about ½ cup.) Add an amountof sugar equal to the total amount of spices and mix well. Store in a tightly capped jar or other airtightcontainer for up to 3 months.
saBine PassBarBecued craBs
Visitors to Texas seem shocked that Sartin’samous barbecued crabs are deep-ried and notprepared on a Texas barbecue smoker. Like the“barbecued shrimp” o New Orleans and the“barbecued oysters” o Tomales Bay in NorthernCaliornia, barbecued crabs aren’t slow smokedover a wood fre.Cleaning the live crabs is the most difcult parto making barbecued crabs. First you have to leavethem in ice water or several minutes to stun themenough so they stop fghting, then you have to rip theshell o and clean out the exposed guts and lungs.
MakES 12 HaLf CraBS
Peanut oil, for deep-frying6 live blue crabs1 cup Homemade Zestful Seasoning(recipe follows)
Pour the oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a deep,heavy pot or deep fryer and heat to 350°F. While the oil is heating, immerse the crabs inice water for 5 to 10 minutes until they are limp. Put1 crab, shell side up, on a at surface. Hold down aipper on the bottom le side of the crab with thethumb of your nondominant hand and rip o theupper shell from le to right with your dominanthand. Don’t be shy. It takes considerable force to getthe shell started. Clean out the exposed guts and gillsunder running cold water, remove the reproductive parts, then break the crab in half with 1 claw on eachhalf. Tis will expose the eshy meat in the middle.Repeat with the remaining crabs.Put the seasoning in a small, shallow bowl. Working in small batches, dip the crab halves, oneat a time, into the seasoning and then lower theminto the hot oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until thecrabmeat is opaque and cooked through. If the spicemix begins to burn before the crabs are ready, lowerthe heat.