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crab emergency -- need suggestions

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I was planning on serving nice, freshly steamed Dungeness crab for Christmas dinner. Because I didn't think I'd have time to go get them I asked some friends who live right near the store that sells them to pick them up. Unfortunately, I wasn't specific about what I wanted, since I didn't think that particular market sold any kind of crab other than live Dungeness. They decided to go somewhere else, and they bought cooked, cracked crab. So now I have 10 pounds of already-cooked crab, which will be day-old crab by the time of my Christmas dinner. What should I do with it?

I don't have time to clean 6 crabs, or I'd use the meat to make something else. I'm afraid to reheat it, since that will probably overcook it. I guess I just have to serve the cold crab pieces, but in my experience Dungeness crab is best when it's fresh cooked. I don't think it's going to be very good more than 24 hours after it's been cooked. Could I make some sort of sauce that could improve the taste? I got home earlier than I expected so I could go buy more in the next few hours, but I hate to waste 10 lbs of crab. Does it freeze?

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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  1. Put them in a large plastic bag, get all the air out and tie off the bag. Put Ice in the bottom of a pan that will fit around the bag, lots more ice on top then into the fridge. Should hold for 3-4 days as long as it's iced down. Make crab salad, Louies, etc. If you want to use it tomorrow in a hot dish, shell it out and add to a sauce at the last minute and just heat it through, no more, you should be fine.

    1. What about a crab bisque, you could add in the crab at the very end. Crab salad is always delicious

        1. Thanks for the suggestions, but what I have is NOT crab meat, but whole, cracked crabs, and not enough time to pick the meat out of them. Sigh.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JoyM

            Melt some butter and put them all out - since they are already cracked they will be easy to eat. I bet people will love them. I would be there in a heartbeat for a plate of cooked, cracked dungi crab