Father’s Day weekend is usually a big weekend around here. My dad’s birthday usually falls on, or on the day before. And, of course, since the baby has come along we’ve been celebrating Father’s Day. It also kind of signals the beginning of summer. And, for me, nothing says “summer” more than blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay.
I’ve been eating these for every summer as far back as I remember. My dad, mom, and I would go “trotlining” early in the morning. By 10 o’clock we’d have a bushel of crabs. Now-adays, we live 20 minutes from “The Crab Capital Of The World”. Also known as Crisfield, Maryland. We buy the crabs by the bushel, live, right off the boat. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a pre-steamed crab, and I don’t know that I’d care to. You just need to make sure you have a large enough steaming vessel to cook them…a 7 gallon turkey fryer is ideal.
Steamed Blue Crabs
1/2 bushel live blue crabs (4 dozen)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups beer (any kind will do)
8 cups water
1/2 cup Old Bay (seafood seasoning)
1/4 cup kosher salt
Combine the Old Bay and kosher salt. Combine the water, vinegar and beer in the bottom of a large steamer pot . Add the crabs in, a few at a time, seasoning with a tablespoon of seasoning here and there as you go. Bring the vinegar/water to a boil, then add the steamer basket full of crabs. Cover. Cook on medium-high heat for 40 minutes. Remove lid, and continue to steam for an additional 5 minutes with the lid off before removing.
Serve on layers of newspaper, with vinegar and melted butter for dipping.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dad’s out there!