Crab Night (serves 8)

If my kids had asked me earlier in the day yesterday if I could order a dozen or so  freshly cooked Maryland Crabs, fire up the bar-b-que and grill a fine assortment of vegetables, invite a half-dozen kids over afterwards to roast marshmallows and shoot off a hoard of fireworks, I would have told them they were delusional if they thought I would say yes to that request tonight, or, any other night for that matter!

Getting ready for Crab Night

The only part of that plan I knew for sure was that our friend Tom had promised to treat us all to freshly cooked Maryland Crab from some great seafood place he knew. I was not enthused about grilling but, when another friend said that the crabs would be great with outdoor-tasting food I was compelled to clean out the ashes and get a fire started. When the coals lit up without much balling of starter paper, and blowing, and getting smoke in my eyes I was encouraged. So, I opened a bottle of wine and contented myself with prepping vegetables and making marinades.

Had to peek into the bag!

When Tom arrived with the crab it was if a spicy ocean had wafted in the back door. I perked up and began to chop with more pep. After a bit I noticed that the kids had joined their 2 cousins from next door who had three friends visiting. Also the boy at the house beside theirs had strolled over to join in on a game of tag they were playing (some complicated thing involving a possum??).

The perfect perch for my wine while tending to the grill!

I had to run to the store for a couple of lemons and without thinking, I picked up a packet of fireworks that I thought might be fun later (O God, what was I doing!!). Before I knew it, the party I had outlawed in my head was in full swing! I managed to get everything grilled and we all piled into a veritable feast. The table was full with shells and napkins and wine and chatter and we had the best dinner ever.  

Marshmallow soldiers!

Of course after dinner we had to roast marshmallows, which meant another run to the shop. The marshmallows were the best part, not of course counting the fireworks that followed…..


First Job is to get the grill going (if it is charcoal like mine). If you are using gas just turn it on before you need it (whatever you usually do).

Put newspaper on the table (for an authentic feel and to eliminate the need for plates), and anything else you might need, like, salts, pepper, various condiments, lemons, napkins, crab utensils etc.

Crabs: You will need about 2 dozen freshly cooked crabs.

first, lay newspaper down on your table..

For Grilled Corn: 8 -10 ears of corn, stripped of greens and silk, unsalted butter, coarse sea-salt.

Put corn on the grill..

1 – Tear off enough tin foil to wrap each ear of corn. Put an ear of corn in the center of the foil and press a pat of butter onto the center. Sprinkle with salt and wrap up. Repeat until all corn is ready for the grill. Place on grill and turn every 6 minutes and check corn after 20 minutes. Add more butter and salt if desired.

lovely accompaniment to the crab meat..

For the Onions: 2 big sweet onions, cut into 1/2″ thick rounds, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar, good pinch of coarse sea-salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper.

1 – Whisk all ingredients together (except the onion slices) in a little bowl. Place onions in shallow dish and pour dressing over them. Mix about and let them sit until ready for the grill. Grill on each side until cooked (about 6-8 minutes per side)

sweet onions..

For potatoes and Asparagus: 3 lbs baby, 1 bunch of asparagus, 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbs honey, 1/2 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tsp coarse sea-salt, freshly ground black pepper

grilled baby potatoes..

1 – Whisk everything (except the asparagus and potatoes) in a bowl. Wash potatoes and place in pot and cover with water. Place on stove-top and boil gently until just cooked. Drain in colander. Wash and dry asparagus. When potatoes have cooled (but still warm) place in bowl and place asparagus in shallow bowl. Add dressing to each and mix until everything is well coated.

2 – Place potatoes in a big doubled piece of foil and close into a pouch shape. Place on grill and cook for about 12 minutes. Put asparagus directly onto the grill and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn every now and then. Place back in dish with marinade when done (soaks up more flavor).

Grilled lemony asparagus..

To serve: Place everything on table. Plates optional!

A very nice mess!

End meal with Grilled Marshmallows and Fireworks!

What a night!

2 responses to “Crab Night (serves 8)

  1. Tess, this meal sounds like so much fun that I think we must try it ourselves, even with our gas grill. BTW, we had a charcoal grill forever and then not long ago decided it was time to try a gas one. I still think the charcoal ones impart a heavenly flavor, but I also realized that the gas grill does a much better job of smokiness than I had always thought. The next time I make corn it will also be done on the grill and so will onions. Best of all, the gathering sounds like what a meal should be, full of lively talk with good wine and food to accompany it. Great entry.

  2. Next time we do this, you’re invited!

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