Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blue Crab Bonanza

Late summer is peak season for Atlantic blue crabs in the tidal rivers and creeks around Long Island Sound. According to most reports, we're experiencing a decent of run of crabs this year so far, especially east of New Haven. Friends and I have been getting in on the action and turning out some delicious meals too. Over the last few weeks, I've been fortunate to crab at night and during the day, on shore and by boat, and in a variety of ways from setting hand-lines and traps to scoop-netting along pilings and mud banks.

Crabbing is a fun family-friendly activity that peaks during a time of year when other types of fishing slow down due to warm water temps. One of my favorite parts of crabbing is the camaraderie--there are always lots of laughs, teamwork and cold beer involved. But make no mistake; catching, cooking and picking blue crabs is a ton of work, yet the thrill of the hunt and the tasty finished product make all the effort worthwhile.

While the act of capturing big blue claws is a rush, the end result on the dinner table is the main draw for many crabbers. There are an endless amount of ways to prepare these crustaceans and so far this season we have stuck to classic crab cakes and a Portuguese stuffed-crab dish called Sapateira. Our friends that introduced us to the latter recipe recently made crab-filled raviolis from scratch, which sound amazing. Of course, there is always the option to keep it simple and get dirty with a mallet and Old Bay seasoning right after steaming.

In the end, there is no wrong way to catch or cook a blue crab--just get while the gettin's good!


  1. Delicious. Must get out there soon. I'll have more chance with crabs than albies, no doubt.

  2. Mmmmmm... those look great! I've been out myself, we cooked them as we caught them right there on a grill with only old bay. Sooooo good. Your cakes and stuffed look awesome

  3. EJ: It's so much fun and there are so many places to try near you.

  4. Swamp: Thanks for reading. That's the beauty of blue crabs, the simplest way to prepare/eat them is so damn good!