When it comes to recipes, do you have a pet peeve? I have two. Okay, maybe more than two, but two that come to mind immediately. The first is a list of ingredients, the order of ingredients. The second is additional information that needs you to be redirected to another site or another page in the book.
Let’s start with ingredients. I want the list of ingredients to match the steps in the directions. If you need to chop a bunch of vegetables, list those first so you can chop and set aside to have ready for the next step. When I’m preparing a recipe for the first time, I will re-write it so that the ingredients and the steps match. But that’s just me.
Redirection is another thing that makes me crazy. If I’m trying a new recipe for the first time and midway through it I need stop what I’m doing and flip to another page or click on another site, it really messes with my rhythm. Cooking successfully is a dance that needs to flow. It’s like doing the tango and all of a sudden the music changes to a waltz. It makes me crazy.
Since these crab legs needed to be served with butter, I’ve given both the lobster and butter recipes together. Please make the butter first. You could even make the butter a day or three in advance. I like to keep either clarified butter or glee on hand at all times, but you might not be as crazy as I am.
1 1/2 lbs Unsalted Butter
Cut the butter into 1″ pieces. Place the butter in a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Once the butter has liquefied, decrease the heat to lowest setting then gradually adjust upward as needed to maintain a low boil.
Cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the butter reaches 260 degrees, is clear, and the foam on top is slightly browned yet floating on the top. (The browning will add just a hint of flavor to the finished butterfat). The long cooking process will ensure that all the water content of the butter has evaporated, leaving only the milk solids (at the top) and pure butter oil (below) to contend with. (If the milk solids brown to the point of sinking to the bottom, don’t toss it out and start over again. You have just made Ghee – like Clarified Butter with a high smoking point, but with a deeper nutty flavor).
While many recipes for Clarified Butter tell you to use a ladle to skim the milk solids from the butterfat, this takes time and more patients that most of us possess. An easier technique is to strain the remains of the saucepan through four layers of cheesecloth set inside a hand strainer above a heat-proof vessel such as a mason jar.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. (A jar with a tight-fitting lid works well). Place the Clarified Butter into the refrigerator until ready to use.
Iron Grilled Alaska King Crab Legs
4 lb. Alaskan king crab legs, thawed
4 Lemon wedges, for serving
1 Cup Clarified Butter, for serving (below)
Heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat.
Add crab legs; cook, turning, until shells are charred and crab meat is heated through, about 8 minutes.
While the legs are cooking, cut the lemons into wedges for serving and set aside. Warm the clarified butter and keep warm throughout the meal.
Note: Ceramic Butter Warmers work well for keeping the butter liquidity-warm. Use a small sauce pan to melt the butter, then transfer to the warmer when ready to serve.
Serve crab with lemon wedges and warm butter.