Roasted Marinated Crab

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 2
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1 large live crab -- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon shredded ginger
1 tablespoon garlic chopped
2 medium serrano or other small -- green chiles, -- chopped
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter -- up to 4
1 teaspoon salt to taste

Preparation / Directions:

To kill the crab, either plunge it into a large pot of boiling water for a minute, or place it on its back on a cutting board and split the body down the middle with one quick cut with a heavy knife or Chinese cleaver. If you want to use the upper shell in the presentation, the first technique works better. Holding the crab body by the legs, pull off the shell. Discard the feathery gills on both sides of the body and the spongy mass in the middle of the back; rinse until nothing but shell and meat show. Pull out the bits of greenish fat from the corners of the shell; reserve if desired for the sauce. Rinse both the body and shell and drain thoroughly. Split the body of the crab (if it is not already split) into 2 halves with legs and claws still attached. Carefully crack each leg and claw segment with a mallet. Place in a large bowl with the oil, ginger, garlic, chiles and a generous grinding of pepper. Marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Remove crab from marinade 15 minutes before cooking. Grill the halves and the shell over a hot fire until outer shells are bright red and meat in the largest sections is opaque (pry one open to check), 3 to 4 minutes per side. Or , place crab halves and shell in a roasting pan lightly oiled with a bit of the marinade and roast in a 450F oven until done as described above, about 12 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, strain vegetables out of marinade and combine with the butter in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes and season to taste. Serve in small bowls as a dipping sauce for the crab.

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