Holding Court

Dungeness crab season began this week. I didn’t realize until I saw them at the farmers’ market stand. Suddenly I knew what we were having dinner. Dungeness is a crab not many have had off the Northwest coast of the United States. My understanding is that it doesn’t ship well which just means we get more ;). It is delightful if you ever get a chance to try. My favorite way to enjoy them is to cook them in a court bouillon, roll up your sleeves, and just be okay with the mess. We shared with some friends who chided me for “making stew” as I assembled the cooking liquid. I got the last laugh after we started eating…

Dungeness in Court Bouillon (adapted from Bouchon Cookbook)

1 Crab per two people works pretty well (I cooked four with below)
around 1 gallon water
one bottle dry white wine
two lemons cut in half and squeezed
two leaks cleaned well
bouquet garni (parsley, garlic, peppercorn, thyme)
handful of shallots cut in half
two fennel bulbs cleaned well and cut into quarters
some salt and pepper
some vinegar (maybe a cup or so)

I didn’t really measure much of the above so use as guidelines. Bring to boil and toss in the crabs. Boil for four minutes and then move pot of heat and steep for 30 minutes. Remove to platter. You can chill if you’d like but we just ate them when they were cool enough to touch. It was some of the sweetest, most delightful crab I have ever had and fortunately the children didn’t really eat their halves :).

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3 Comments

Filed under Bouchon, Cookbooks, Cooking, Family, Food

3 responses to “Holding Court

  1. Perhaps the kids saw the “before” image of the crabs – the one you posted. It is the before image isn’t it? The set of the claws, the impression of an eye, the movement implied, would give me second thoughts also. However, no problem for this east coast guy. Thankfully, I like “sweet/ delightful crab meat” so it would take a different sort of image to turn me away from the table.

    Serve them up Josh!

    Oh wait, I wasn’t invited. Sigh!

  2. Crab is my absolute favourite, so please do enjoy the next one for me. :-) Mandy

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