I tend to miss Louisiana this time of year. Between Mardi Gras and the gorgeous weather and the crawfish boils, there’s a lot to miss.
Nick must have been feeling it too, because he suggested a trip to Copeland’s. I typically enjoy the Copeland’s restaurants in Louisiana, but the one here in Little Rock doesn’t seem quite as good. But we went last night anyway, and Nick ordered the crab claw appetizers. Not so great. They only reminded me of how much better the homemade version is.
You’ll find these marinated crab claws at every party in Louisiana. I’m not sure where the recipe originated, but they taste just like the ones from Ernest’s to me. Wherever they came from, they are incredible.
Note that this isn’t a spur-of-the-moment recipe. It takes a little planning ahead, as you make the marinade a couple of days before serving. Plus it’s a little labor intensive, as there’s lots of chopping involved, but the finished product is well worth the work.
Make this marinade 48 hours in advance of serving.
1 cup chopped green onions — tops and bottoms
1 cup chopped celery — stalks and leaves
4 pods garlic, chopped (note that it’s pods, not cloves)
1 cup chopped parsley
2 cups spanish olive oil (yep, Spanish tastes different)
2 cups tarragon vinegar (must be tarragon flavor)
juice of 6 lemons — it’s easiest to use Minute Maid frozen lemon concentrate
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
Mix above ingredients and refrigerate. About 10 hours before serving, LIGHTLY wash cocktail crab claws, just enough to separate them. (Cocktail crab claws are sold in pint size containers, and this marinade amount is enough for 4 containers.) Put the crab claws in the marinade, and return to refrigerator until about 30 minutes before serving. I like to let them come close to room temperature before eating, rather than have them be cold.
Place crab claws on a serving platter (they look lovely pinwheeled on a round platter) and spoon some extra marinade over them. You can also serve them with Leidenheimer bread or a nice, crusty French loaf, as the marinade on its own is delicious.
Hot Dog Mike took the pic for me at one of my parties. He makes food look good.