Winter in Florida means something completely different than many other states. Inches of snow and freezing temperatures won't be descending upon the Sunshine State. Instead, mild and sunny weather will reign, along with one other very important thing.
Stone crab is one of the most popular foods that hails from Florida and the season runs from October 15 through May 1. You might not be able to get over to Florida to harvest some crabs, but many local fish suppliers offer online ordering and shipping.
You may not know how to cook frozen stone crab claws and that's okay! With the proper preparation, you can whip up a Florida state delicacy in no time. For chefs looking to prepare a delicious meal at home and discover how to cook stone crab properly, read on for more information.
How to Cook Stone Crab Claws
There are certain steps that you need to take before you can begin cooking your stone crab claws. For frozen stone crab claws, it has to be thawed before cooking. You can thaw your crab claws in your fridge for 48 hours before cooking, running them under cold water, or thawing in the microwave.
If you don't want to eat your crab claws immediately after receiving them, the thick shell of the crab claw will protect it for up to six months in your freezer. Frozen stone crabs come fully cooked, making them an easy meal for you to whip up that will impress your guests.
Whether you eat the stone crab claws hot or cold is up to you. If you prefer them cold, you can just crack them open and eat them once they are thawed.
You want to just warm the crab claws if that's your preference, not cook them. Steam your frozen crab claws for five minutes to thoroughly warm them all the way through, serving them alongside melted butter.
Best Dipping Sauces for Stone Crab Claws
Whatever you pair with your crab, you're looking to accentuate the flavor of the crab, not overpower it. There are many dipping sauces you can make if you're looking to jazz up your crab-making routine.
Joe's Mustard Sauce
Modeled after the sauce served at a popular restaurant in Florida, Joe's Mustard Sauce is perfect for hot or cold crab legs. For this sauce, you will need:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 T dry mustard
- 2 t Worcestershire sauce
- 1 t A-1 sauce
- 2 T light cream
Place the mayo and the mustard in the bowl of an electric mixer, beating it for one minute. Once thoroughly combined, add in your remaining ingredients and beat until creamy and blended. If you want a bit more of a tang, add in up to 1/2 teaspoon more mustard.
Brandy Mayonnaise is a tangy sauce that is perfect for your steamed crab claws. The ingredients include:
- 1 cup mayo
- 3 T brandy
- 3 T ketchup
- 2 T sour cream
- 2 t Dijon mustard
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a bowl and serve alongside your crab claws. The sweet-and-sour flavors you get from the brandy, sour cream, and ketchup will give your crab legs a kick.
Jalapeno Honey Sauce
Want to add even more of a punch to your dipping sauce? Jalapeno Honey Sauce isn't for the faint of heart, but pairs nicely with a delicate stone crab claw. For this sauce, make sure you grab the following ingredients at the grocery store:
- 1 T butter
- 3 small seeded and diced jalapenos
- 1/4 cup rum
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 t cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup honey
Melt your butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the jalapenos and rum, turning the heat up to medium. You will want to reduce the liquid by half.
Put in your remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat, making sure you stir frequently. The Jalapeno Honey Sauce can be served hot or cold with your crab legs.
Popular Side Dishes for Stone Crab Claws
Prepping and cooking your frozen stone crab claws takes no time at all. If you want to eat your crab claws cold, all it requires is thawing them out. That leaves you more time to prepare delicious dipping sauces and side dishes that will add to the flavor of your crab and not steal the show.
Potatoes are known for complimenting crab and other types of seafood. Potatoes are mild and can be jazzed up with other flavors. Serve a baked potato with your crab legs, mixing some garlic butter and sour cream for your potato.
Steamed or grilled corn on the cob are perfect for a traditional seafood meal. If you want to take it up a notch, add in some spicy butter or other sauce. Make a summer corn salad with black beans, jalapenos, red onions, and a light dressing.
Grilling other vegetables are a popular side dish for crab. Throw some asparagus on the grill with your corn and garnish with melted butter. Have you noticed that butter is a common theme when making a stone crab claw meal?
Master the Art of Cooking Frozen Stone Crab Claws
Learning how to cook frozen stone crab claws is a simple process that you can adopt into your cooking routine. While stone crab claws may be expensive, if you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or just a quiet night in, they make for a delectable treat for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Ordering online from a reputable fish warehouse will ensure you're receiving a quality product.
When you receive your frozen stone crab, you can expect to see small black spots on the claw. That's the bruising the claw receives from Sea Urchin spines when the crab cracks a Sea Urchin shell to eat. That does not mean your crab is bruised or harmed in any way.