When you meet someone who spends every work day on the open waters of the Great Lakes bringing in salmon, walleye, and perch, you assume they eat quite a lot of fish. You can imagine my surprise when I first found out my charter captain husband, Jason, doesn’t actually like fish. He’ll eat it on occasion if we make it for dinner, but ordering fish at a restaurant is definitely out of the question.
So I was once again surprised to hear Jay requesting to get crab legs after we saw a commercial for our local grocery store advertising an upcoming seafood sale. It was the week before Valentine’s Day last year and instead of going out he proposed staying in and steaming crab for dinner. I had no idea he liked crab but since I my heart skips a beat at the thought of a seafood dinner, I was quick to oblige.
The next day, we approached the seafood counter at the market and contemplated which kind to get. We settled on snow crab and when the woman asked us how much Jay was quick to respond. “Three pounds. At least.” I watched as the employee began stacking what looked like an impossibly large amount of spindly, bright red appendages into a clear plastic bag. “There’s no way we can eat all that,” I interrupted. “We really just need one pound, right?”
Jay shot me a look. “No, we need it all.” Ok.
Taking the reigns in the kitchen, Jay prepared an amazing meal that Valentine’s Day. I ate as much crab as I anticipated, about five legs and two claws total, but Jay was able to polish off the rest of the bounty without hesitation. It was impressive.
We’ve since enjoyed two crab dinners together at different casino buffets (honestly, the only time we go to a casino is when they have a seafood night) and each time I am in awe of the amount of crab Jay can crack and consume. He’s equally impressed by how many different types of oysters, mussels, clams, and shrimp I can fill my plate with. When it comes to seafood, I have no reservations about trying anything.
In keeping with tradition, we decided we needed to have another crab dinner this past weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This time we did a crab boil with potatoes and corn. Even though seafood boils like this are traditionally considered summer fare, we felt we needed something to pull us out of this mid-winter rut. The temperature last Sunday when we woke up was -7 so anything that can be done to make it feel like summer in our home is encouraged.
Since there was a hockey game Jay wanted to watch that afternoon, I was in charge of preparing our dinner. This was fine since it couldn’t have possibly been easier. Everything gets boiled in one big stock pot, the only trick being whatever takes the longest to cook goes in first. I seasoned the water with Old Bay seasoning and threw in the potatoes first followed by the corn and then the crab, which takes just a couple minutes to reheat. I also threw in some shrimp, just for good measure, but the real star were those coral-toned crab legs.
Alongside the boil I set out bread, melted butter, lemon slices, and cocktail sauce. Jason’s Christmas gift this year was a set of lobster crackers, so I had those on the table as well. To go with the food I picked up some Perrin Brewing Company Gold ale. Something light and refreshing to wash down all the rich crab and butter.
For dessert, Jay whipped up his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Well, he made the dough and they have yet to become cookies so we had raw cookie dough for dessert, but I can’t complain.
This would be such a great meal to serve a group of people this summer. You can easily adjust the amount of each ingredient to cater to any number of guests and preparations are so simple. Or keep the portions small make it for someone you love for a relaxing night in.
Snow Crab Boil with Potatoes Corn and Shrimp
The beauty of this meal is in it’s versatility. The following will serve 4 but you can easily adjust the amounts of each ingredient depending on the number of people you’re serving and follow the same steps.
- 1/4 Cup Old Bay Seasoning
- 6-8 Red Potatoes
- 4 Ears of Corn, shucked and halved
- 3 Lbs Frozen Snow Crab Legs
- 15-20 Shrimp, deveined *
* Precooked frozen shrimp would also work, you’ll just want to add the shrimp in at the very last minute.
- Melted Butter
- Cocktail Sauce
- Lemon Slices
- Crusty Bread or Biscuits
Fill a large stockpot 3/4 full with cold water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle the water with Old Bay seasoning. Add the potatoes and allow them to cook for about 10 minutes before checking. When they are just barely fork tender, add the corn and cook for 3 minutes. Next, place the crab and shrimp in the boiling water. Cook for 3 more minutes until the shrimp are red and opaque. If using frozen shrimp, throw them in when the crab has been in the simmering water for 2 minutes.
Drain everything and serve with butter, cocktail sauce, lemon slices, bread, and lots of napkins.