I am attempting to host my first crab feed when my family comes to visit in a couple of weeks. I had decided this after passing the fish market at the Redondo Beach pier and remembering how much fun I had at a friend's crab feed and what a fun process it was to have fresh, live crab. Luckily, the Redondo Beach market steams them for you because I don't have a large enough pot for that nor do I like hearing the screams. Anyhow- in my desire to make this as memorable as my friend's feed was to me, I've come across numerous websites and decided to make an easy access Lunch list for you should I inspire you to host your own feed!
Crabs feeds are notoriously messy. Amongst my friends and family I'm notoriously lazy after a meal which means I love cooking and hate cleaning up afterwards! Enter Newspapers. Just spread at least 5 or 6 sheets on top of your patio table and cleaning up is super easy after your feed.
Um....because it's called a crab feed? Besides the obvious, there are a variety of types of crabs, ways to buy and cook them, and seasons to buy. Late summer/early fall is usually the best time of year to buy crabs, though you can enjoy them year-round. If you live near a coast and happen to have a large stock pot to boil crabs, you can buy the crabs directly off the fisherman's boats. If you live near the coast but, don't have a stock pot, you can buy your fresh, live crabs from the seafood market right off the marina where the boats dock and they will steam your crabs for you. If you live inland, I believe you can get crabs at most grocery stores. Types of crabs have more to do with which coast you live near. TIP: MUST GET STEAMED CRABS TO TABLE ASAP! If not, they will continue to cook and lose flavor.
It's the other thing that will be in crab feeders top 5, you need something to dip the crab into! I plan on getting a little creative and adding a pinch of garlic to the butter dipping sauces. I love garlic and find a reason to add it to everything! I'm sure you can get much more creative than me but, remember that you don't want it to overpower the crab!
There's just nothing better but, a crab feed, good people and a good beer. Enter Stella, though any light-medium beer/ale will do. I'm biased because after my love, @Nando1, introduced me to Stella, it's become my favorite beer. It just happens to compliment crab perfectly.
For you non-beer drinkers out there, feel free to add white wine in its place. I have Chardonnay because a) that's what I'm going to have on hand for my mom and b) the dry style of Chardonnay is a nice mix with crab.
Die-hard crab feeders will say that you shouldn't have any sides with crab in a crab feed. I am not of that school of thought. What could be a better side than grilled corn on the cob? Slather some of that butter and garlic sauce on there and you're set!
Well, by now, you are well aware of my garlic obsession. But, I have no clue why corn on the cob and garlic bread are the best BBQ/outdoor meals side staples. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I think because they're both able to be cooked on a grill and actually, the grill makes it taste better! Who am I to challenge tradition? I can hear my family and friends laughing but, I don't usually mess with things that work!
For those of you that are proper and don't want to crack the shells with your crabs or you have Carpel Tunnel or arthritis and can't crack the shells with your hands, these little hammers are perfect for you. They perfectly crack open the shells for you to dig the crab meat out for full enjoyment and little effort!
Again, this is an easier way to dig the crab meat out of hard to reach crab claws or shells. I would be remiss if I didn't add these on the list. They're way down here because I usually use a crab's claw to dig the meat out...I think it makes it a little more fun and challenging!
Remember what I said way back when we were at #1, that after eating I'm too lazy to clean up after myself? Enter trashcans. Place one of these by your patio table so people can just throw shells into it and when you're done, you can throw the newspaper in the trash. Voila! Clean up complete.
This helps with the relaxed vibe of a crab feed. Let people help themselves to some paper towels to use as bibs or to wipe their mouths clean, only to continue on their wonderfully messy culinary journey. Then, you guessed it- throw them in the trash!