Winter Dungeness Crab: Fresh and Tasty in Cannon Beach

6601777601_c138e3458f_b crabDungeness crabbing is underway and Cannon Beach’s Ecola Seafood opens tomorrow, January 14, offering fresh-caught Oregon Dungeness along with other local seafood.

With beach-front suites featuring complete kitchens, Tolovana Inn is a perfect place to stay when you want to prepare and enjoy a local seafood feast while enjoying incredible ocean views.

Sweet, delicate and tasty Oregon Dungessess crab is a winter culinary treat that is both versatile and easy to prepare.  It’s in season now, through April.  It can be served simply, or elegantly, equally at home on newspaper or china. It’s easy to prepare, too!

Cooked crab can be served chilled or heated in a steamer, broiler or oven for 4-5 minutes. As a featured ingredient in a hot entrée, Dungeness crab meat goes well with pasta, in casseroles and in seafood-based soups.

Served chilled, it’s ideal in a Crab Louis or cocktail-style.  Fresh crab is a delicious appetizer, served with a warm melted butter or a tasty dipping sauce, like a blend of mayo and siracha.

To cook a live crab, simply place it in boiling salted water and cook for 18-20 minutes–after the water returns to a boil.   The shell will turn a bright orange.  Then, immerse the crab in cold water to cool it before cleaning, removing the gills and viscera before serving. Check with your purveyor if you have questions.

Accompanied by an Oregon wine or an ale, fresh Dungeness is just one of the many blessings of the bounty of Oregon.

Ecola Seafoods, located at 2nd and Spruce, in Cannon Beach is open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Oregon Dungeness crab generates more than $50 million annually.  About 300 commercial crabbing boats dot the Oregon coast each winter.

 

 

 

Holiday fare: Fresh, Oregon Dungeness in season now!

Dungeness-Crab-Salad

The peak harvest for fresh Oregon Dungeness crabs runs from December through April, and that means right now, is a great time to plan a special holiday meal around the flavorful crustacean.

Oregon Dungeness crab is versatile and easy to prepare at home, or when staying at the coast in a spacious, Tolovana Inn suite in Cannon Beach.

Dungeness crab can be purchased at specialty seafood markets and supermarkets throughout the region with retail prices typically lowest during the winter when the harvest is in full swing.

The simplest method of preparing  Dungeness crab is placing live crab in boiling salted water and cooking  for 18-20 minutes–after the water returns to a boil—and the shell turns bright orange.  Immerse the crabs in cold water to cool before cleaning.  Fresh cooked crab can be served chilled or heated in a steamer, broiler or oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Crab can be simply served with melted  butter. Add a crisp Oregon Riesling and warm garlic bread, and a wonderful, local dinner is ready to enjoy.  For more elegant fare, crab meat can be served cocktail style as a tasty appetizer or featured as a hot entrée in crab cakes, pastas, seafood soups and  casseroles.

Besides enjoying the tender, sweet flavor of fresh Dungeness crab, you can feel good about the selection since Seafood Watch has given the crab a sustainable seafood rating of ‘Best Choice’  Selection.

For more information about Oregon’s state crustacean (as proclaimed by the Oregon legislature in 2009)  visit the Oregon Dungeness Crab commission web site.

Cheers for the Oregon coast and the winter Dungeness crab season!