It’s officially Summer, and what better way to expand our recipe repertoire than to share one of my own Summer favorites? I made this for dinner today, and couldn’t resist sharing it. This Savannah Summertime Crab Martini is bold and comforting with a fresh, crisp zest that makes it the perfect Summertime meal on the patio. Adapted from a recipe by Bubba Hiers at PaulaDeen.com, the Savannah Summertime Crab Martini is made with fresh crab, salty bitter melon, and chopped tomatoes then seasoned to Southern perfection and topped with crab eggs, served in a martini glass.
Servings: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 25 min – 2 hours, depending on method used
Cook Time: 3 min to 1 hour, depending on method used
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on method used
Old Bay Seafood Seasoning or Paula Deen Seasoned Salt
Old Bay Lemon & Herb Seasoning or Paula Deen Lemon Pepper Seasoning
8-10 female (sook) rock crabs, clean, picked and cooked
Alternately, buy crabmeat from your grocer’s seafood department:
- 1 lb claw crabmeat
- 1 lb lump crabmeat
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 lemon, quartered
2 to 3 small tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup mayonnaise
3 bitter melons
Coarse kosher salt
Crushed black pepper
2 packets Old Bay or McCormick crab boil seasoning
Lemon wedges, for garnish
The longer, more difficult (but incredibly flavorful) method:
Fill a large pot with water, and add one packet of crab boil, two lemon quarters, and about a quarter cup of salt. Alternately, you can use clean seawater for the best flavor. Bring to a rapid boil.
Add the crabs to the boil. Don’t overcrowd them. Boil in stages if necessary.
Boil the crabs for 15-20 minutes, until they’re red and floating on the top of the water.
Remove the crabs from the boil and immediately place under cold water.
Pick and clean the crabs. If you’re inexperienced, this can take a while, and will require some patience. Be careful not to cut yourself with the broken shell, and look for broken shells in the crab meat. If you’re not sure how to do this, here are some great step-by-step instructions.
Place the crab meat into a bowl and set aside.
Carefully separate the bright orange eggs from inside the body and place in a strainer.
Rinse and toss the eggs under cold running water until separated and set aside.
Total time: About 2 hours, give or take depending on experience level
The faster, easier (still very tasty) method:
Buy cooked, picked and cleaned crab meat from your grocer’s seafood department, or seafood market.
Salty Bitter Melons
Cut Bitter Melon in half and discard the seeds and fibrous core.
To reduce the bitterness, blanch the bitter melons by placing them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, and immediately shocking them in a bowl of ice water.
Strain in a collandar then dust generously with coarse kosher salt and toss.
Place the bitter melons into a bowl and refigerate for 15 minutes.
Place the bitter melons into a collandar and rinse under cold water to remove the salt.
Finely chop the bitter melons and set aside.
Mix the Martini
Dice the tomatoes and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the bitter melons with the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, tomatoes, and lemon zest and lemon juice.
Gently fold the crabmeat into the mixture and season to taste with Lemon & Herb Seasoning, Seasoned Salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
Empty a crab boil seasoning packet onto a plate.
Heat the crab eggs over steam for 2-3 minutes.
Rub the rim of the martini glass with a lemon quarter, and dip the glass into the crab boil seasoning .
Scoop the crab mixture into the prepared glass.
Sprinkle the crab eggs on top of the mixture
Place a lemon slice on the rim of the glass and serve.