Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hearty Maryland Blue Crab Soup

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and a comfy seat, this is a long post.
I started writing this week's ago.

GORGEOUS Views, even on land.

This is Baby, No not the same Baby from Dirty Dancing.
Baby was reenacting the scene from Titanic.
There is nothing quite like a day on the Wye River,


IMO There's no better tasting crab than Blue Crabs from the Wye River.

OMGoodness Are They Huge
Filled with Lumps of Sweet White Meat

Meat from half a crab
And No one steams crabs like my hubby.
He really is the best at steaming crabs.
He taught me his recipe and techniques, but swore me to secrecy.
I've kept his recipe secret for close to 20 years now.
I recently convinced him to share it.
Why not let everyone enjoy the best blue crabs possible, right?
I'm sure most spouse's brag that theirs makes the best of this or that.
Honestly, between his recipe, and the Wye Rivers Blue Crabs...
they truly are the most delicious steamed crabs ever.

Blue Channel's Maryland Steamed Crabs
Wye River Maryland Crab Cakes - will add soon
Hearty Maryland Crab Soup
Check out this site! for how to clean a Blue Crab

Making Crab Stock
Rather than using plain water...
I start my Hearty Maryland Blue Crab Soup by making a Crab Stock.
In a large stock pot, I add the shells / bodies, claws and legs from at least 12 freshly steamed blue crabs that have already been picked fairly clean, and 1.5 gallons of water.
I boil the shells on high heat for 1.5 hours
Then I strain the broth, and pour it in a 24 quart aluminum stock pot.
Do not use the last of stock in the bottom of the pot
It will be full of debris.
Discard the shells, etc.
I only use the shells and water because I add lots of vegetables, herbs, and spices to the crab soup, besides the shells are loaded with seasonings from being steamed, plus they also have their own natural seasoning... "the mustard".
Rich Flavorful Crab Stock
If you want to get more depth of flavors you can add...
Carrots, roughly chopped
Celery stalks, split
Onion, peeled and diced
Fresh Garlic
Turnip, split
Fresh parsley
Fresh thyme
Bay Leaves
Lemon juice
White Wine
Shrimp and Lobster Shells
I do not recommend additional salt or pepper, there's a lot on the shells already.
Look at all that flavor
Honestly, it doesn't need it, and I prefer just the steamed crab flavor.
Let's start with steaming the crabs
Steam ingredients
16 to 18 Blue Crabs
12 ounces Beer
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cups Water
5 Tablespoons Old Bay, J.O. Spice, or Costas Inn Seafood Seasoning
1/2 Tablespoon Dry Mustard
6 Tablespoons Sea Salt
Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Hubby's Special Steam Sauce
In the bottom *sauce* pot add beer, vinegar, water, 5 old bay, 6 tablespoons course salt and a pinch of pepper.

Place the top steamer pot on then add a single layer of live crabs
Time to start layering.
Sorry, there are no exact measurements for this step
Reference photos
Working on the third layer
Best I can say is to go heavy on the seafood seasoning and mustard
Be very generous with the Old Bay *&* Dry Mustard
Season with a 50/50 mixture of Costas Inn & Old Bay or J.O. Spice & Old Bay
then sprinkle on dry mustard
Sea salt
Course salt
Mixing the seafood seasonings makes the perfect blend of spicy sweet
Keep repeating the layers until the crabs are a few inches from the top.
Time To Steam
Place over medium-high heat
Steam for 30 minutes.
Cut heat back to medium, steam an additional 10 to 15 minutes
or until the shells turn orange / red, and the belly is white.
Costas Inn is a delicious milder than Old Bay seafood seasoning

I started this pot of crab soup at 11:30 am...
I finished 12 hours later.
It cooked all day and it developed so nicely
Hearty Maryland Blue Crab Soup

3 1/2 pound Boneless beef chuck roast, seared
Soup Base:
1 gallon Crab stock
4 quarts V8 100% Vegetable Juice
2 cups (16 oz) Swanson low-sodium beef broth
2 (14.5 oz) Del Monte Original Stewed Tomatoes, pureed
3 cups (24 oz) Hunt's petite diced tomatoes
2+ tablespoons Old Bay
1/8 cup French's Worcestershire sauce
3 fresh bay leaves
Pot Roast
1+ dozen steamed crabs, cleaned and cracked in half
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked free of any broken shells
1 dozen steamed crab claws
1 bundle fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves, 6 to 8 tied together
2 pound bag baby carrots, sliced
1 bunch celery, diced (leaves and bottom trimmed off)
8 ears of corn on the cob, sliced into circular disks
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and chopped
2 boxes frozen lima beans
2 bags shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
3 pounds baby red potatoes, rinsed, diced and boiled
Shrimp would be great in this soup also
I love the flavor of shrimp
I'm going to add shrimp next time

Crab Soup Directions:
In a 24 quart stock pot over medium-high heat...
Place the seared pot roast in first
When I shredded the roast I made hubby a sandwich
Then add...
Crab Stock
V8 Juice
Beef Broth
Pureed Stewed Tomatoes
Diced Tomatoes,
Season with...
Old Bay seasoning, if desired
Worcestershire Sauce
Bay Leaves
Parsley Bundle
Pureed Stewed Tomatoes
Tossing in whole herbs makes it easier
Stir to combine.
Add all the vegetables, by this point it should be just slightly bubbling.
Add the crabmeat, crab halves and claws.
Reduce heat to low, simmer for 8 to 10 hours.
Season with more Old Bay, if desired.

Serve garnished with oyster crackers, 1 Tablespoon cooked crabmeat, a
pinch of Old Bay and finely chopped parsley.

With the exception of the boiled potatoes
I pretty much just dump everything in at the beginning
Once the soup is done, I add the boiled potatoes and let them soak in the crab soup for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Once the roast is nice and tender, remove from pot, shred with a fork, then place back in to the crab soup.
Most of this batch (about 2 gallons) went to the firehouse with hubby.
I was honored that a fellow firefighter of my husbands liked this so much that
he wanted his wife to try it as well.
He took her to Seaside Restaurant for Maryland Crab Soup
Unfortunately, they ended up with cream of crab, and didn't like it as much.
Personally, I prefer Mo's Seafood Factory to Seaside.

Seaside is outdated inside, and has a musty smell, I just can't eat there.
And the food isn't nearly as good as Mo's.
Plus Mo's is very clean, and their portions are double or better.
I wish the firefighters had some leftover for Mr. Chang to take home to his wife.
I was told placing a wooden spoon over a boiling pot prevents it from boiling over
Using a coleslaw mix shortcut
Baby Carrots
Chopped Celery
Cutting the corn takes some muscle
Rough diced onion, cooks down to almost nothing
Fresh Green Beans, only way to go.
Small Red Potatoes
Turned out great.