Florida stone crab claws are one of my FAVORITE treats. The claws are considered a delicacy, and are actually a somewhat renewable resource. One or both claws can be harvested from a live crab; after being returned to the ocean, the crab will regrow the claws. The claws are ENORMOUS, with little black tips; the meat inside is sweet, delicate and incredible succulent.
Stone crab season runs from October 15 through May 15, and, by law, the claws must be sold pre-cooked. Luckily, if you're fortunate enough to find some stone crab claws, the preparation is SUPER easy, since the meat has already been cooked. You can even order them online, from the famous restaurant, Joe's Stone Crab!
I got my claws from A&V Seafood Market in Huntsville (for anyone who wants to go there, it's in Hampton Cove, off Cecil Ashburn Dr, in the little strip/shopping center with I Love Sushi and Bicycle Works). Stone crab claws are typically sold frozen and are served cold, so all you have to do is thaw them out!
Florida Stone Crab Claws with Creamy Mustard Sauce
Sauce recipe adapted from Saveur
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp heavy cream, half-and-half or milk
1 Tbsp Colman's dry mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp A-1 Steak sauce
1-2 lbs stone crab claws, frozen
Whisk the mayonnaise and cream/half-and-half/milk together until combined. Add the dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and A-1; whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Thaw the claws by placing them in a colander and running COLD water over the claws; this should take about 15-20 minutes (the claws should bend easily at the knuckles). You can then chill the thawed claws in the fridge for about an hour or so if you want to serve them REALLY cold - this will help separate the meat from the shell as well!
To crack the claws, hold them in the back of your hand, then smack the claw all over with the back end of a heavy butter knife. You can also use a small hammer or mallet and tap all over (think of the crab claw like a hard-boiled egg).
Dip the claw meat in the prepared mustard sauce and enjoy!