open season

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress

Categories: Fish and Seafood, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Posted on October 24, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten

A definite perk to helping my dad move back to Florida each year is that it almost always coincides with the opening day of stone crab season. Last week I almost spilled my coffee when I heard on the local news that fisherman were allowed to set their traps that day in the Gulf of Mexico.

When I shared that report with my dad it didn’t take much to get him on board. I looked up the number for Merrick Seafood so I could call them first thing in the morning to see if they would have their first claws of the year.

If you’ve never had stone crabs steamed right off the boat, you haven’t had them. And while you pay dearly for this precious cargo it’s worth every penny. I adore a big plate simply served with a side of coleslaw and my mom’s curry sauce.

My dad has the craziest contraption for cracking his claws. It’s called the “Florida Cracker”. It’s an anodized aluminum vice that perfectly splits the hard shells while preserving the sweet flesh inside.

And my mom’s curry sauce couldn’t be a simpler accompaniment. Just combine one cup mayonnaise with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, another of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a half teaspoon of curry powder. Whisk until combined. Cover and refrigerate.

Place a generous spoonful into a decorative dish.

Surround with cracked claws.

The claws were so good we opted for an encore performance and invited a few friends over for the following night to have them again!

Best thing about stone crabs is that the fisherman are only allowed to harvest one claw at a time and have to return the one-armed bandit back to the sea so it can grow another one for the following year. Lucky for me I will most certainly be back for next year’s season opener.

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