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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Joe's Stone Crab

On an out of pocket afternoon in Miami, Baby surprised me with a trip to Joe's Stone Crab, now in its 98th season. We were just talking about it the previous evening with a few fellow barflies at The Raleigh and I confessed I had never been. In the early 1900's, it appears old Joe and his wife happened upon stone crabs, whipped up a now legendary mustard sauce, and voila, a sturdy tradition was born.

We sipped illicit martinis and sidecars sitting in the sprawling, sunny dining room that seemed blissfully unaware of time--a perfect classic steeped in history, like The Brown Derby in Los Angeles, with a fair share of revolving celebrity.

A round of oysters on the half shell was first up, then a lettuce wedge with tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions and Roquefort cheese. A passel of fresh, beauteous orange and yellow black-tipped stone crabs followed that I just adored, with the aforementioned mustard sauce. Baby ordered the jumbo lump crab cakes while I turned my thoughts to a steamed Maine lobster. The selections of seafood, meat and poultry range from $10.95 to $39.95 but somehow a most delicious 1/2 fried chicken comes out with a mind-boggling $5.95 price tag! Naturally, we had to try a slice of Joe's original homemade (and deliberately frozen) key lime pie, the recipe for which I've included below. I've also included the recipe for the mustard vinaigrette with a link to the mustard sauce. Thanks to Saveur magazine for that!

As the sign says, "EAT AT JOE'S" or have dinners shipped to your home by calling 800-780-CRAB and alternatively visiting

Joe's Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Joe's Creamy Mustard Sauce
½ tsp chopped garlic
1/8 cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp grated Romano cheese
1 tsp fresh minced parsley
Mix all together and chill. Can use balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar for a sweeter taste.

Key Lime Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie
Graham Cracker Crust
1 wax paper-wrapped package graham crackers (1/3 of a pound box) or 1 cup, 2 ½ tbsp graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar

3 egg yolks
1 ½ tsp grated zest of two limes
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup heavy or whipped cream, chilled
1 tbsp confectioners sugar

For the graham cracker crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process to crumbs. (If you don't have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and then crush the crackers with a rolling pin.) Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

For the filing:
Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Next time you are in SFLA--- stop by GGs in Hollywood... they have stone crabs from Joe's--- and you get to eat them on the water! Here's their website-