October gets most of us thinking about pumpkins and Trick-or-Treat, right? Well, that is true for me too, but October also gets me thinking about something else…
Alaskan King Crab Legs. October 15th marks the opening of King Crab fishing season, which will run from now through January. Sure, King Crab Legs may be found frozen year round in stores, but this is the time of year in which fisherman are out there battling in the Bering Sea under treacherous conditions to bring us those beauties. Anyone who has ever watched an episode of Deadliest Catch knows what I am talking about.
The versatility of these sweet, tender crustaceans is part of what I love about them. They are great hot of the grill with butter, breadcrumbs and herbs, served chilled in a salad with cilantro and chiles, or roasted in the oven with tomatoes, white wine and parsley; which is exactly how I served them the other night.
Where I live, fall kind of eases its way in slowly, with warm days, and evenings that are just beginning to cool off. So although I am not ready to start thinking about beef stew or chili, having my house filled with the aroma of succulent crab legs roasting in my oven sounds very good to me.
This dish works really well as an entree for a dinner party. You can make the broth a day ahead of time, then just reheat and add the crab legs before popping in the oven. When your guests arrive, all you have to do is have some warm French bread (ready for dunking), and serve along with a salad and a nice glass of wine. Simple, casual, and delicious entertaining.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups bottled clam juice
1 28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes (such as San Marzano)in juice
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon (scant) dried crushed red pepper
Coarse kosher salt
4 pounds Alaska king crab legs, cooked , cracked at joints, split
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in large deep ovenproof skillet or large metal roasting pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to high and boil 2 minutes. Add clam juice, tomatoes with juice, 1 cup water, bay leaves, parsley, and crushed red pepper and bring to boil. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15 minutes. Add crab pieces; nestle into sauce. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until crab pieces are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Place crab with juices in large bowl.