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Stone Crabs for Thanksgiving Dinner?

stone crab from cortez kitchen

This time of year, bird is the word. Everyone is talking about how they are going to prepare their turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Are you gonna brine it? Fry it? Roast it? Do you prefer fresh or frozen? So many questions and for good reason! Yes, there’s a lot to it and it’s quite easy to screw it up. Historically, what happens at my house; after all the preparation and fuss, I end up with a dry, sad bird.
So it is tradition to serve a turkey at Thanksgiving but I like to break tradition! Why not get away from the fowl family and move on to the delicacies of the gods…seafood? The stone crabs this season are just heavenly…and plentiful! Since dining on these luscious, sweet crustaceans at Cortez Kitchen a few weeks ago, I haven’t stopped thinking (and dreaming) about them. To serve as a main course, there’s not much to it. When you buy them, they’ve already been steamed and seasoned, so if you like them served cold, all you have to do is crack away! And this season, there are plenty to be eaten, so start buying! Cortez Bait and Seafood has mounds of fresh claws, ranging in size from medium to jumbo. If you like them served hot, just place a steamer basket over some boiling water and warm them up a little. Serve with melted butter and –voila!–you’ve got your main course. If you like the mustard sauce, it’s also easy to whip up.
Now, if you want to still stick with the turkey for your main course, go for it. You can still enjoy some stone crabs as an appetizer or a side dish. It’s common to put lobster or oysters in stuffing, so why not add stone crab instead? And people have been doing some creative things locally with stone crabs lately. The Stone Crab Mac and Cheese from the Blue Marlin on Bridge Street in Anna Maria is TO DIE FOR! And Chef Ray from Euphemia Haye is teaming up with our very own Lucy Miller to present a Stone Crab crepe for his December 5th cooking class. The class is sold out, but we’ll post the recipe after the class.
Another note about my divine stone crab experience at Cortez Kitchen. Not only did I get to indulge in the delectable sweet meat of the stone crab but I also happened to be there when local favorite, Eric Von, was performing some of his beachy/country tunes. Wow, this guy can rock! If he were on The Voice, he would be killing it. He hasn’t been playing around locally lately because he’s been in Nashville working on an album and we wish him all the luck. Looking forward to playing that new album soon! Now, eating Stone Crabs while listening to Eric Von on Thanksgiving? That’s my kind of holiday, Florida-style!
Happy Thanksgiving from Cannons Marina!