We're in full shellfish mode for the summer! While we had some rock crabs a couple of weeks ago, we're now craving dungeness crab.
One reliable source of excellent crabs is James Hook and Company. I gave them a call to see how they doing in their recovery from the fire that destroyed their landmark waterfront building.
Al said they expect to have some retail operations in the old location within a couple of weeks. And, they have both dungeness and rock crabs at their temporary Northern Avenue space.
It's a good idea to call before you head over to be sure they have what you want. We'll do that and reserve a crab feast for the weekend.
The photo above is rock crabs steamed with lots of Old Bay Seasoning. We have our own system for bringing them to the table. In the kitchen, we pull off all the claws and pile them on a platter – big ones on one end, small ones on the other. Then at the sink we pull apart the bodies, clean them up a bit and pile those in the middle. This leaves much of the mess in the kitchen.
This presentation is also less intimidating if you are introducing someone to crab pickin'. We still crack and pick and toss the shells around while we feast, but we make fewer trips to the sink to wash our hands.
One of our favorite Annapolis crab houses has sinks all around the dining room for eaters who want a fresh start with clean hands part way through a bucket of crabs.
Chilled bottles of white wine, a table full of friends and a pile of crabs is one of the best ways I can think of to spend a summer afternoon.
James Hook & Company
Temporary retail location
339 Northern Avenue, Boston MA