Here is how to make a romantic dinner for two for less than $20 in less than twenty minutes. It's romantic, delicious, fast and pretty impressive.
For the Crab
1 live Dungeness Crab
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 T. Olive Oil
3 oz. white wine
pinch sea salt
1/2 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced
For the Green Beans
1 sliced green onion
1 1/2 lbs. green beans, with the ends cut off
1 Meyer lemon, juiced
Step 1: Clean and Prepare the Crab
Put 1" of water in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot and turn it on.
Put the crab in the sink, and wash it gently. If you're feeling guilty about steaming it alive, douse it with a little Pernod so it feels no pain.
When the water boils, gently grab the crab from the back and put it in the pot and steam it for about 5 minutes (until it turns bright red).
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Melt the butter in the olive oil in a skillet. Add the chopped garlic and white wine. When you can smell it, it's done.
Step 4: Clean and Break Up the Crab
Break the legs and claws off the crab; break the shell up with the back of a knife or a cleaver.
From the back of the shell, lift the top shell off the rest of the body. Scoop out and dispose all the gooey bits, as well as the ridgy bits on the top sides of the body (the lungs). Quarter the body.
Step 5: Assemble the Crab & Bake
Put all the crab bits in a lasagne or cake pan (the key element is deep with high sides) and pour the sauce over it. Preheat the oven at 350. Chop the parsley to sprinkle on it when it comes out of the oven.
Step 6: Prepare the Green Bean Salad
Pinch the ends off the beans, and pour boiling water over them to blanch them. Break them up and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice, salt, green onion and olive oil. Let it cool.
Of course, if you want a really awesome lemon, you could have checked Neighborhood Fruit for a local lemon before you started. Or maybe you already did and that's the lemon in your fruit bowl, like mine.
Serve and Eat
Once you can smell the crab in the oven, pull it out and sprinkle the parsley over it. Serve it with a side of sliced bread and the green bean salad.