Steamed Snow Crab Legs

In honor of Father’s Day this coming Sunday, this week’s posts will be dedicated to a fabulous (yet easy!) meal that Dad will love.  For anyone who feels like ‘getting crabby’, I’ve got a simple preparation for the crab legs that’ll be on sale later on in the week.  Aren’t they purty?  They smell like the ocean – which of course, is a wonderful thing.

Other than my brief time spent as a waitress at Red Lobster back in the late 80’s (it’s true), I have had very little experience with crab legs.  Truthfully, the home cook in me has always been a little intimidated by cooking larger shellfish of any sort, so when I was asked to chat about snow crab here today, I nearly collapsed in a blubbering heap.  The last thing I wanted to do was flunk Crab Legs 101.  So I gathered my courage, pulled myself together, and got to work.

A little r & d was all I needed, and I found that from boiling, to baking, to steaming, there are many, MANY methods of cooking snow crab legs.  After reading countless recipes and many differing opinions, I decided to apply the KISS principle.  I settled on an uncomplicated steaming process and I’m happy to tell you, it worked like a charm.  The crab doesn’t really need much in the way of effort to taste delicious;  a quick, no-frills steam allows its natural sweetness to shine.  Lemony butter on the side adds a tangy, rich touch.

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this gourmet treat at home.  But feel free to let Dad believe you worked your tail off all afternoon.  :-)

Note:  The snow crab legs you’ll find at the Store are already fully cooked.  You’re really just heating them through, so don’t let them steam too long or you’ll end up over-cooking them.
Serves:  2, can easily be multiplied

2 clusters of frozen snow crab legs, rinsed to remove any bits of ice (on sale)
1 lemon, sliced
Italian parsley, small handful
Several garlic cloves, smashed
Kosher salt

4 T. butter
1 clove garlic, pressed
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Additional lemon wedges for serving

Helpful to have on hand:
crab crackers and small seafood forks or picks
plenty of napkins and wet-wipes
finger bowls of lemon water (if you’re feeling extra fancy)
a basket to collect shells

You’ll need a pan large enough to hold the crab in one layer (I used my roaster).  Add enough water to come approximately 2 cm. up the sides of the pan.  Add lemon slices, Italian parsley, garlic cloves, and a hefty pinch of kosher salt to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat; continue to simmer several minutes to dissolve salt and blend flavors.  Add the snow crab clusters and cover pan tightly (I used a large piece of foil).  Steam crab until heated through, about 7 minutes  (adjust time accordingly if you’re working with more crab).

While crab is steaming, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add pressed garlic and saute lightly; swirl in fresh lemon juice to taste.  Pour butter mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a small bowl.

Transfer crab legs to a serving platter and serve immediately, along with the melted butter mixture and additional lemon wedges.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | June 14th, 2011