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    Post #1 - December 29th, 2005, 11:49 am
    Post #1 - December 29th, 2005, 11:49 am Post #1 - December 29th, 2005, 11:49 am
    hi all: I'd like to have crab on new year's eve, butter dripping down to the elbows. What's a good source for crab? I am thinking Alaskan King Crab but am open to other recs. thanks in advance!

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #2 - December 29th, 2005, 12:16 pm
    Post #2 - December 29th, 2005, 12:16 pm Post #2 - December 29th, 2005, 12:16 pm
    Dirk's Fishmarket
    2070 N. Clybourn Ave.
    Chicago, IL. 60614
    773.404.3475
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #3 - December 29th, 2005, 12:22 pm
    Post #3 - December 29th, 2005, 12:22 pm Post #3 - December 29th, 2005, 12:22 pm
    Dirk's is definitely a good idea, but I am also consistenly impressed by the looks and price of the crab legs available at Costco.

    I've never purchased any, but they look pretty nice. :)

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #4 - December 29th, 2005, 1:24 pm
    Post #4 - December 29th, 2005, 1:24 pm Post #4 - December 29th, 2005, 1:24 pm
    I've had frozen king crab legs from Sam's Club, and they were comparable to the product I've bought at both Dirk's and Whole Foods. My understanding is that they are all pretty much caught, cooked and frozen on the same boats and it's how they are treated after they leave the boat that makes the difference in quality. (Which is why I would never buy them from Dominick's, where I've seen them mostly thawed and sitting in liquid in the frozen seafood case.) As long as you don't overcook them (they're cooked already), they'll be fine from either Costco or Dirk's.
  • Post #5 - December 29th, 2005, 3:28 pm
    Post #5 - December 29th, 2005, 3:28 pm Post #5 - December 29th, 2005, 3:28 pm
    Tuesday before xmas I bought some awesome looking Alaskan King Crab Legs from

    Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company on North Avenue just west of Route 83 in Elmhurst.

    These were much better than I've ever seen at Costco or Sam's Club.

    I know places in the city are supposed to be even better than Supreme Lobster at least for general selection though.

    I just have no idea where you live. If the city, take the guy's advice on Dirk's.

    Nancy
  • Post #6 - December 29th, 2005, 4:01 pm
    Post #6 - December 29th, 2005, 4:01 pm Post #6 - December 29th, 2005, 4:01 pm
    thanks all. I live in the city, on the north side so Dirk's won't be a problem to get to. Thansk!

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #7 - December 31st, 2005, 2:49 pm
    Post #7 - December 31st, 2005, 2:49 pm Post #7 - December 31st, 2005, 2:49 pm
    We had our Alaskan King Crab Legs for dinner last night.

    Heated at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (in shells of course)

    It was some of the best crab we ever had. Hard to call it better OR worse than the "fresh" crab we've had in November from Shaw's and Bob Chinn's.

    It was excellent, just wanted to comment on how it actually ate.

    Let us know how the Dirk's stuff was.

    Nancy
  • Post #8 - December 31st, 2005, 5:03 pm
    Post #8 - December 31st, 2005, 5:03 pm Post #8 - December 31st, 2005, 5:03 pm
    I went to Costco the other day and they were having their "seafood roadshow". Part of the show were some of the largest king crab legs I have seen in a while. They had them separated into legs with and without claws, so you could choose what you want (Discussion of this preference could take up a thread of its own). I had never thought to buy such a specialty food item at Costco before, but these looked as good or better than any I had seen at Dirk's (which actually didn't look as good as these this year) or any other fancy seller of seafood, so I bought a bunch of them for tomorrow along with a couple of giant lobster tails.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - January 1st, 2006, 8:17 pm
    Post #9 - January 1st, 2006, 8:17 pm Post #9 - January 1st, 2006, 8:17 pm
    So I picked up the crab at Dirk's on Friday. I am very smitten with Dirk's and the staff and the quality of the stuff I bought. I started talking with the guy behind the counter about Gulf oysters and the next thing I know he's popping open oysters from the Pacific Northwest. I don't know if I'd ever slurped an oyster before lunchtime before but now I can say I have. (And what a breakfast of champions that is!)

    I got 2.5 pounds of Alaskan King Crab and it cost me $47 plus I got half pound of non-frozen, shell on, medium shrimp for I don't know how much. Honestly, when laying down $47 bucks for the crab I was just channeling my Auntie Mame after that and not even looking at prices.
    ,
    I know that crab could have been procured much much cheaper--Cub was advertising $7.77 a pound and I am sure Costco was offering an amazing deal. But I didn't want to step in to either of those stores and just like buying my lamb at City Noor rather than Costco, I wanted to give my cash to an independent.

    The counter guy told me to just let the crab defrost in the fridge, it didn't need to be cooked at all--just maybe rinsed if I didn't like things too salty, as it had last been rinsed in a salt water bath. I love tasting the sea so I did not rinse them. Oddly, this is the first time I was very light on the butter--it was nice to just savor the salty/sweet tender crab. Very rich, very decadent--I didn't even touch my baked potato on my plate. And I am one of those people that think potatoes are one of the 4 major food groups.

    The surprise hit of the night though, were the shrimp. I steamed them for a couple of minutes (with peppercorns and bay leaf in the water) and rinsed with cold water. These were the most succulent, tender, juicy shrimp I've had since the time I lived in Australia and my neighbor had a boat and would bring them in still salty and we'd eat them 30 minutes out of the water. I'd like to think it was my uber-simle cooking technique but I actually think it was stellar product to start with. My husband had a real life shrimp epiphany and he's been going to the Keys every year since he was born. "This is what shrimp are supposed to taste like! This is insane!"

    So thanks for the Dirk's tip. I will be back oh yes I will be back. And I am intrigued by their class offerings. And everyone in the store seemed to just really, really like their jobs. What a refreshing change of pace.

    ps can a moderator tell thick headed ol me how to post photos? I'd love to share photos of my meal.

    thanks!

    bjt
    :lol:
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #10 - January 1st, 2006, 9:34 pm
    Post #10 - January 1st, 2006, 9:34 pm Post #10 - January 1st, 2006, 9:34 pm
    bjt wrote:The counter guy told me to just let the crab defrost in the fridge, it didn't need to be cooked at all

    Good ol' Alton Brown recommends for crab that you wrap in damp paper towels and give them a spin in the microwave if you like 'em hot. Any other method either leaches flavor or liquid out, giving you less pleasant textures, or won't heat all the way through without again losing the liquid.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #11 - January 1st, 2006, 10:07 pm
    Post #11 - January 1st, 2006, 10:07 pm Post #11 - January 1st, 2006, 10:07 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    bjt wrote:The counter guy told me to just let the crab defrost in the fridge, it didn't need to be cooked at all

    Good ol' Alton Brown recommends for crab that you wrap in damp paper towels and give them a spin in the microwave if you like 'em hot. Any other method either leaches flavor or liquid out, giving you less pleasant textures, or won't heat all the way through without again losing the liquid.


    I've always found this contraption to do a perfect job of steaming my crablegs.

    Image

    I brought it out of mothballs today to cook up my traditional New Years dinner.

    Steamed Costco Crab Legs
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - January 5th, 2006, 1:47 pm
    Post #12 - January 5th, 2006, 1:47 pm Post #12 - January 5th, 2006, 1:47 pm
    Costco crab legs for new year outstanding

    Marinated two pounds of 12-15 (?) size shrimp in olive oil, garlic, ginger, cilantro, s+p, ; double skewered and grilled off.

    Since I was starting up the grill, I threw the thawed legs on the grill for about three minutes a side, opened them up with kitchen shears and pulled out huge "logs" of meat ( a little hot on the hands) add a little melted butter and lemon and let them all nosh.

    Since the grill was still going, I took ten shucked oysters to the grill and poured a concoction of melted butter, horseradish, hotsauce. s+p and lemon onto the shell and grilled about one minute. Much different expierience than raw, but fun. Had two non oyster eaters try-- one enjoyed one did not.

    Eight very large legs were about $100.

    On the downside, Hostess purchased a cryovacked(sp) beef tenderloin for about $90. By the time I trimmed the loads of fat, silverskin and sinue there was not much left and it had been hacked pretty roughly by me. We decided to pick up one already trimmed and ties from Zanoni's on 17th Ave in Broadview. the meat was tasty and cheaper by the usable pound than Costco. I do not know how long Zanoni's will last but plead with some of you to try it. Located one block south of the Eisenhower Exway on 17th.
    Does anyone else have any expierience with this former grocery
  • Post #13 - January 5th, 2006, 4:59 pm
    Post #13 - January 5th, 2006, 4:59 pm Post #13 - January 5th, 2006, 4:59 pm
    If you are looking for Blue crabs, I have had pretty good experience with the crabs at Meijer's.
  • Post #14 - January 5th, 2006, 8:16 pm
    Post #14 - January 5th, 2006, 8:16 pm Post #14 - January 5th, 2006, 8:16 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:If you are looking for Blue crabs, I have had pretty good experience with the crabs at Meijer's.

    JLawrence,

    I've found Viet Hoa on Argyle to be a good source for alive and kicking blue crab. Chinatown Market and Richwell Market typically have nice live blue crab as well.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Viet Hoa Plaza
    1051 W Argyle St
    Chicago, IL 60640
    773-334-1028

    Chinatown Market
    2121 S Archer Ave
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-881-0068

    Richwell Market
    1835 S Canal St.
    Chicago, IL 60616
    312-492-7015
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - January 6th, 2006, 10:32 am
    Post #15 - January 6th, 2006, 10:32 am Post #15 - January 6th, 2006, 10:32 am
    We went to Dirks just before Christmas to pick up some wild king salmon for a dinner party and got some wonderfully fresh flounder as well. While waiting, we chatted with Dirk and he casually mentioned that if we really wanted to wow our guests he was expecting fresh never frozen king crab legs from DHL any minute. Not even 5 minutes later, in walked the DHL man with the boxes which we proceeded to ogle as they opened them. They looked amazing but at $30 a pound, we had to decline the offer.

    When we are in the mood for crab, we usually opt for live Dungeness, and our go to place is Sea World, just down the street from Viet Hoa on the north side of Argyle. At $6 a pound, we have yet to find anyone who carries them for less and the quality of the crabs is excellent. However, steer clear of the lobster as it tends to be of the pond kept variety w/atrophied claws and somewhat lackluster flavor.

    Sea World
    1130 West Argyle
    773-334-5335
  • Post #16 - January 6th, 2006, 10:53 am
    Post #16 - January 6th, 2006, 10:53 am Post #16 - January 6th, 2006, 10:53 am
    Mr. T. wrote:We went to Dirks just before Christmas to pick up some wild king salmon for a dinner party and got some wonderfully fresh flounder as well. While waiting, we chatted with Dirk and he casually mentioned that if we really wanted to wow our guests he was expecting fresh never frozen king crab legs from DHL any minute. Not even 5 minutes later, in walked the DHL man with the boxes which we proceeded to ogle as they opened them. They looked amazing but at $30 a pound, we had to decline the offer.


    I was lured in by the call of fresh, never frozen king crab legs at Dirk's last year. That is something I will never buy again. There was not much (if any) difference in taste with a huge difference in price. P.T. Barnham would be proud!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - January 6th, 2006, 11:10 am
    Post #17 - January 6th, 2006, 11:10 am Post #17 - January 6th, 2006, 11:10 am
    The first time I ever went to Chinatown Market, they had at least one live king crab in the tank. I was overwhelmed by everything already, and this took the cake. I have no idea how much it cost per pound, all I could think of was how would one possibly get that beast home and, even more perplexing, into the pot. I've thought about it many times since, and I would imagine they would kill it for you there (i.e., hack it in two, through the body). I can't remember what time of the year this was. I've never seen another live king crab there or anywhere. Has anyone ever tried this?

    (And, stevez, I'm with you. I've had fresh king crab legs from Whole Foods and couldn't notice any difference from frozen I'd had in that past.)
  • Post #18 - January 6th, 2006, 12:38 pm
    Post #18 - January 6th, 2006, 12:38 pm Post #18 - January 6th, 2006, 12:38 pm
    I always thought that most commercial King Crab Fisheries don't take whole crabs, rather they remove a few legs and toss the crab back to regenerate more. The legs are then frozen at sea right on the ship. I've never seen a whole king crab for sale anywhere. I'll have to look in chinatown next time I go to the market there.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - January 6th, 2006, 12:54 pm
    Post #19 - January 6th, 2006, 12:54 pm Post #19 - January 6th, 2006, 12:54 pm
    stevez wrote:I always thought that most commercial King Crab Fisheries don't take whole crabs, rather they remove a few legs and toss the crab back to regenerate more. The legs are then frozen at sea right on the ship.


    The only shellfish I've heard of being fished that way is stone crabs. I'm pretty sure all king crabs are taken whole, cooked whole (or after they've been split in half), and then the legs are frozen and the bodies discarded. This article doesn't quite give a full answer, but is very interesting nonetheless. I think it might be late in the season to find live king crabs in Chinatown (I think it was early fall when I saw it), but do tell if you see one!
  • Post #20 - January 6th, 2006, 12:55 pm
    Post #20 - January 6th, 2006, 12:55 pm Post #20 - January 6th, 2006, 12:55 pm
    Funny you mention the live king crab. About 5 or 6 years ago I was at Bob Chinn's with some friends and family. We were in the queue waiting for a table and noticed this big tank with live king crabs in them. We were kind of chuckling and pointing at what was obviously some sort of a promo display when a busboy came popping out of the kitchen with a huge garden rake and proceeded to hook one of them out of the 'display' and take it back to the kitchen. The rowdy mai tai crowd waiting to get in line parted like the Red Sea when he came through waving that bad boy around. Anyway the deal was if you wanted it you could order it but your whole table had to order. They would steam it and then clear off the entire table and just dump it on whole with some hammers, peelers, bibs and garlic butter - a crab boil on steroids if you will. We never got around to finding out how much it cost as we had hold outs in our group who wanted to order popcorn shrimp or some such thing and wouldn't participate. We should have sent them to another table. I've only been back to Chinns a few times and mostly for lunch so I don't know if they've continued this or done it again but it was truly a spectacle.
  • Post #21 - January 6th, 2006, 9:45 pm
    Post #21 - January 6th, 2006, 9:45 pm Post #21 - January 6th, 2006, 9:45 pm
    Mr. T. wrote:Funny you mention the live king crab. About 5 or 6 years ago I was at Bob Chinn's with some friends and family. We were in the queue waiting for a table and noticed this big tank with live king crabs in them.

    Mr. T,

    Never had live king crab at Bob Chinn's, but have had fresh, never frozen, king crab legs there, which are really quite good.

    I had live king crab a couple of years ago in Vancouver at Sun Sui Wah. How did I know it was alive? :)

    Sun Sui Wah
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - January 6th, 2006, 10:19 pm
    Post #22 - January 6th, 2006, 10:19 pm Post #22 - January 6th, 2006, 10:19 pm
    Timing is everything. Just tonight on Check Please they featured Bob Chinn's and showed the whole king crab being served. Guess I was wrong about the legs only thing. :oops:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - January 8th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Post #23 - January 8th, 2006, 5:18 pm Post #23 - January 8th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    kl5 wrote: I think it might be late in the season to find live king crabs in Chinatown (I think it was early fall when I saw it), but do tell if you see one!


    I don't know about buying it in market, but Happy Chef in Chinatown (or the restaurant next to it) is serving live king crab as well as alive abalone. Saw it last night when we ate at Lee Wing Wah.

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