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Cravin’ crabs? Create your own feast at home

If you love crab but don't like the variety available at your local grocery store, then you're in luck. David Rosengarten, editor-in-chief of the foody newsletter, The Rosengarten Report, was invited to appear on “Today” to share some of his favorite selections of the most succulent whole crab, spiced crab, legs, and juicy pickin's that can be delivered straight to your door. Here’s his crab

If you love crab but don't like the variety available at your local grocery store, then you're in luck. David Rosengarten, editor-in-chief of the foody newsletter, The Rosengarten Report, was invited to appear on “Today” to share some of his favorite selections of the most succulent whole crab, spiced crab, legs, and juicy pickin's that can be delivered straight to your door. Here’s his crabby analysis:

Staging a Maryland crab feast

There are so many spectacular crabs: Alaskan King Crab, Snow Crab, Jonah Crab, Dungeness Crab (I’ll give you sources for all of them below), but I confess, my favorite by far is the Blue Crab!

One of my favorite regional preparations of the Blue Crab is the Maryland Spice Crab. I wrote this little essay on serving and extracting the meat from Maryland-style Blue Crabs for my last cookbook, "It's ALL American Food." It takes a little more effort to pick this smaller crab, but is it ever worth the work! Just remember: Picking crab meat at a crab feast is fun! Just go slow and enjoy.

It is easy to reproduce a Maryland crab feast right in your home — or, better yet, in your backyard or on your patio! Figure at least six crabs per diner, and the recipe can easily be divided or multiplied.

First you gotta cook the crabs! The best way to do this at home is to fill a large pot with a steamer rack — with water, and bring the water to a boil. Place the live crabs right in the water and cook 'em, covered, for one minute, or until they are motionless. Remove the crabs, and place some of them, in a single layer, top shells up, undersides down, in the largest steamer basket you have. Sprinkle the crabs abundantly on top with Maryland-style spice (see recipe below); really cake that powder on. Place another layer of crabs on top of the first layer, and cake again with spice mixture on top. Repeat with more layers, if you have the room in your steamer basket. Finally, place the crab-laden steamer basket over the still-boiling water, and steam for 12 minutes, covered. Test a claw to make sure the meat is done.

Here's how to make your own spice powder for crabs:

For more information about David Rosengarten and The Rosengarten Report, please visit his web site at: www.davidrosengarten.com