Whole Dungeness crabs are the simplest way to create a festive meal that looks totally elegant but is actually deceptively easy to prepare.
4cooked Dungeness crabs, about 2 pounds each
16tablespoons1 cup or 2 sticks salted butter
1teaspoonOld Bay Seasoning
1-2teaspoonsprepared horseradish, to your taste
Fresh dill and parsley for garnish
Sliced lemon and limes
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, season with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Once the water comes to a boil, remove from heat. Immerse two of the crabs into the water for 5-10 minutes until the crabs are warmed through. Remove the crabs from the water and set aside to drain. Bring the water to another boil and repeat with remaining crabs.
Clean the crabs while the other two crabs are warming in the hot water. Crack the legs with the back of a heavy knife. Serve on a platter with fresh dill leaves, parsley and sliced lemons and limes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Reduce the heat to low and skim the foam from the butter. Stir in the Old Bay Seasoning and the lemon juice. In a small bowl, mix the ketchup with the prepared horseradish. Serve the flavored butter and cocktail sauce alongside the crab.