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Roasted Dungeness Crab with Garlic and Red Pepper


2 live Dungeness crabs (about 2# each)*
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves diced
2 Tbls chopped Thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds crushed
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 Tbls (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (optional)
Sourdough baguette


  1. Preheat oven to 550F.
  2. Bring one pot of water to a boil and add vinegar. Pour over the top of the live crab in another pot and cover with a lid. Steep the crab for 5 to 7 minutes. The crab does not have to be fully cooked because it will be cooked further in the oven.
  3. Bring water to a boil and repeat with second crab.
  4. When the crab is cool enough to handle clean the crabs discarding everything except the legs, claws and body cavity. Using a knife with a sharp tip make a cut down the length of the legs and claws. Cut the body cavity into halves and then each half into thirds.
  5. Add the olive oil, garlic, thyme, fennel seeds, sea salt and red pepper flakes to a blender or food processor and pulse until well mixed. Do not over process or the flavors get too jumbled.
  6. Toss the crabs with the marinade coating them well. Place the crab in one layer on a metal baking dish. If you have oval metal baking dishes one crab fits on them perfectly and can be used to serve each person.
  7. Roast crab about 8 to 10 minutes. Place on a warm platter (unless you have used the oval metal baking dishes) and serve with melted butter for dipping and sourdough baguette.

Serve with Paul Mathew Russian River Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

*Note: You can use pre-cooked crabs but they tend to get over-cooked in the oven because they are fully cooked before they are sold.