Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gone Crabbin'

Kickin' Crab Dip

Josh (of "Josh Steele's Slammin' Salmon Chowder fame) invited us to go down to visit his family for a weekend of small town relaxation. His parents live on 15 acres, complete with horses and a feisty terrier named Rocky. Part of the weekend plans included an afternoon (which turned into an evening) of crabbing on the Oregon coast. I had never been crabbing before, but I was definitely up for the adventure. It all started with buying shellfish licenses, crab nets and bait boxes, pieces of raw chicken (for bait), and a lengthy drive on on a twisty road out to the docks. Josh took us to his favorite spot between a couple of fishing boats. We dropped our nets with wide-eyed fantasies of delicious, juicy crabs scuttling eagerly to their doom. It didn't happen quite so easily. The sea lions kept busting open our bait boxes and taking the chicken for themselves. We came up empty or with baskets full of female crabs, which you have to throw back. A couple of local fisherman kept giving us tips (more than a few times we heard: "You know where there's a lot of crab? Up at the restaurant up there! Ha! Ha!") We had caught a few rock crabs worth keeping, but the real prize was the dungeness crab with its softer shell and sweeter meat. We didn't give up. We wanted a cooler full of crab. The temperature dropped and daylight waned, I was really feeling ready to pack it but, but we decided to push through, move our nets, and try a few more throws. Glad we did! Maybe the crabs got dumber. Or maybe it was just the sea lions taking off for another dock, but we began pulling nets full of keeper crabs. Exhausted on the drive back home, I thought to myself, "You know what would be good with these crabs? I jalapeno-spiked mayonnaise." I was right.
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
- 1/4 c. chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together mayonnaise, hot sauce, peppers, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. That's it! Dip crab into sauce. It would also be a great dressing for shrimp, salmon, or pretty much anything delicious from the sea.

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