If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you already know that on Saturday our family visited the Santa Barbara Fisherman's Market. Every Saturday from about 7:30 to 11:30 AM, fishermen line the harbor selling their fresh fish, crab, and lobster. B and I were immediately drawn to the crawly red Rock Crab piled inside crates. For $6 we got one big crab to take home for lunch. Sweet B thought we were bringing him home for a pet, so she was a little confused when we dropped him into a pot of boiling water. She got over it quickly though, and was fascinated by the process.
This fisherman from Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. was so nice and posed for a picture with B and our crabby pet/lunch. The girls thought it was very silly that we had a live crab pinching around inside a bag in the car and let out shrieks every time we heard the bag move. Similar shrieks were heard when we dropped the crab into the pot, only I was the one doing the screaming. It was all quite a hilarious scene, as I'm new to live crab cooking and fumbled around with the guy before actually getting him into the water.
After steaming for 20 minutes, B and I cracked into the crab. Most of the meat was in the claws and legs. I got so freaked out about opening the body that we didn't get any meat there.
Our Saturday crab adventure was a wonderful learning experience for the girls, and so much fun.
I'm sure B will never forget that seafood comes from sea and not the supermarket.
And that the meat comes from real living creatures.
The girls enjoyed the crab meat plain, but I wanted to make a fun recipe with some of the ingredients I had around the house. These mini Crab Cobb Salad Cups are packed with flavor. Served in tiny packages, they're perfect for itty bitty hands. They're pretty and sophisticated enough for party or even wedding hors d'oeuvres, don't you think? This combination would also be great stuffed inside avocado halves for lunch.
P.S. You don't have to steam a live crab to make these. Cooked crab legs can be found at your local fish market or grocery store. If you are on the coast though, I highly recommend getting it right off the boat. Whether it's picking blueberries in the summer, apples in the fall, or whatever grows near you, getting fresh food from the source is a lot of fun.
Crab Cobb Salad Cups
1 package of 15 mini fillo shells (such as Athens brand found in the freezer section)
1 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cooked crab meat
1/4 cup micro greens
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
2 tablespoons crumbled Blue cheese
Thaw fillo shells by leaving them at room temperature for 20 minutes. Place a small piece of avocado, half a cherry tomato, and a pinch of greens inside each cup. Fill with crab meat and top with a pinch of crumbled bacon and blue cheese.
*I didn't measure for this recipe. It is not an exact science, so these estimations of amounts will be fine - just stuff the shells with the amounts YOU like!