Crab boils are a wet, messy business, which is why many people prefer it to be an outdoor activity, layering fresh newspapers on a picnic table before dumping out the pot of crabs, corn and potatoes. Melted butter as a dip for the succulent meat is entirely optional.
|4 large yellow onions, quartered||1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper|
|4 lemons, halved||3 to 4 bay leaves|
|1 cup crab or shrimp boil seasoning, such as Old Bay or Zataran's||12 to 18 small red potatoes|
|1/2 cup Louisiana hot sauce, such as Frank's||6 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked, silked, broken in half|
|1/2 cup kosher salt||12 large, live blue crabs|
|1/4 cup black peppercorns||Melted butter (optional)|
Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil in a very, very large pot over high heat. Add the onions and squeeze the lemons into the water then drop in the rinds. Stir in the garlic, crab boil seasoning, hot sauce, salt, peppercorns and cayenne. Let this mixure boil for 10 minutes.
Drop in the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes, then add the corn. Return the water to a boil and add the crabs. Cook for 5 more minutes, then remove the pot from the heat source.
For the classic serving method, line a table (such as an outdoor picnic table) with layers and layers of fresh newspaper. Drain the pot and then dump the hot corn, potatoes and crab onto the paper. Serve with melted butter, if you like.
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