How to make BIG LOU’S CRAB GRAVY and LINGUINI
When Mister C’s Corner Grill opened back in June of 1991 we had a very good friend BIG LOU. Lou loved to fish, crab and just be around boats. This was lucky for me, because my little boat needed zar. This tedious job involves sanding, cleaning, staining, buffing and doing it again until the wood is glossy and glowing. Lou was off to my house with all supplies including bunker for crabbing. He worked all day on the boat and also came back to the restaurant with a bucket of crabs.
Big Lou’s How-To!
When catching your own crabs they should be 4 inches tip to tip of the shell and you must throw back anything smaller and all females. To tell the difference, turn the crab over. Females have an inverted “U” to a finger-shaped protrusion in the middle. Males have a long inverted “T”, like the Washington Monument.
Now clean the Crabs. Stun live crabs by placing them in ice water for 30 minutes. (This will enable you to handle them.) Remove the apron flap on the underside of the crab and discard. With your thumb or a small knife, remove the top shell and discard. Scrape and discard the middle and side areas on top of the shell. (This includes the intestinal vein, the soft tomalley, which is the liver, the stomach sac, and the white “dead man’s gills,” which are the lungs.) Break off the mouth piece and mandible; after all we don’t want talking crabs. You should be left with the bottom crab shell containing the back fin crabmeat. Now split the crabs in half. This we refer to the lollipop of the crab. Rinse and now we are ready.
The Big Lou Recipe:
-A small bucket of live crabs minimum 6
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 cans crushed tomatoes
-1 can tomato puree
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
-Crushed red pepper flakes
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 1/2 pounds Linguini, cooked in boiling salted water and drained
To Prepare the Gravy:
Sauté garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Add the crabs and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato puree and basil and bring to a boil over medium heat, lower to simmer. Continue cooking on low heat for at least 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer for as long as you like the more you simmer the thicker and sweeter the gravy becomes. Serve over the linguini. Serves six.
I am lucky enough to be able to crab every day. So I decided to cook one of my favorites, BIG LOU’S Crab Gravy!
I hope yours tastes as good as the one I made at Mister C’s last week, let me know!