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Christmas Crab Legs!

Crab legs always sound like a great idea, but I usually stray away from them when I’m ordering at a restaurant because I think of all the work involved: the cracking, the mess, the flying shells that shoot across the restaurant and hit the poor woman at the next table in the face. But for Christmas dinner this year I was craving them, and I attempted to make them in the comfort of my own home. The end result was delicious, and I could not get over how easy they were to make. I did a little bit of research first on how to prepare them, and steaming sounded the best. I found that you don’t need to add much to the crab legs since they pack so much great flavor, but my neighbor suggested steaming them in Asti instead of water. Delish! The difference to me was slight, and it seemed similar to cooking with white wine: you could use water instead, but the wine adds that extra subtle flavor that you notice just enough. The best part is that you don’t even really need a steamer for the crab legs, since the shells protect the meat from soaking in the liquid. For my two side dishes, I made artichokes and rice pilaf. Below are my recipes. Enjoy!

For the crab legs:

King Crab Legs (about 1 lb per person) *if crab legs are frozen, move from your freezer to the fridge overnight to allow them to defrost.

1 bottle of Asti Spumante (optional) or 3 1/2 cups of water

1 or 2 sticks of melted butter, or clarified butter (also optional)

Bring liquid to a boil. Add crab legs, cover. Boil for 5-7 minutes. That’s it! Melt the butter for dipping, if you like. Take ’em out and crack ’em!

Artichoke side dish:

4 sprigs fresh parsley

4 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

2 lemons cut in half

1/4 cup white wine

2 tbsp olive oil

1 qt vegetable broth

s&p to taste

2 artichokes (or, in my case since the store only had baby artichokes, I made 5 baby ones)

Put parsley, garlic, broth, bay leaves, lemons, oil and wine in a large pot and simmer, and season the liquid with s&p. In the meantime, prepare your artichokes:

First wash artichokes under cold water, then cut the stems closet to the base off with a knife. Remove any tough petals on the bottom. Cut about an inch off of the top of the artichoke, and rub with lemon halves.

Place the artichokes upright in the steaming liquid and cover; simmer for 30 minutes. You’ll know that the artichokes are done when you can insert a knife into the base with no resistance.

For the Rice Pilaf:

Purchase this box from the grocery store and follow the simple instructions. 🙂

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!


Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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Next time I eat crab legs, I will make them like this.

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