1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 jalapeno pepper with seeds, minced
2 12-ounce beers, preferably light in flavor (think domestic, I use Busch)
16 ounces sherry, water, or a mix of the two
4 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound crab meat or 12 cleaned, parboiled blue crabs
Optional garnishes: Grated Parmesan or romano cheese, hot sauce, fresh basil leaves, fresh lime juice
1. Saute onion and pepper for two minutes. Add garlic and saute until onions are tender. Add jalapeno and tomatoes and stir. Add beer, sherry, bay leaves, oregano, dry basil, Old Bay and sugar. Bring to boil, then simmer for about two hours until thickened slightly.
2. Adjust salt, pepper, and spiciness to taste. Add parboiled crabs or crab meat. When I use crabmeat, I prefer a mix of claw meat and lump crab meat. The claw meat blends into the sauce while the lump meat remains distinct. If you’re using whole crabs, cut the crabs in half or quarters and crack the claws slightly.
3. Cook the crab through and serve immediately. Garnish optionally with cheese, sauce, basil, and/or lime juice to taste.
Recipe shared by Andy Huse. Image credit to Andy Huse/Creative Loafing Tampa Bay