Stone crabs are a culinary treat in Florida. Especially since there is only a seven month season. If you’ve never had them, you’re missing out. There’s a debate among people as to whether to enjoy them hot with drawn butter or cold with a mustard dipping sauce. The latter is the more traditional way and my personal favorite, especially if it’s Key lime mustard dipping sauce.
If you aren’t familiar with Key limes, you can read about them in my post about the fruit. Plus I have many other recipes using them including Key lime muffins with Key lime glaze and Tupelo honey Key lime vinaigrette. Like all of my Key lime recipes, this one uses fresh juice from the tree that grows in my yard.
A few fun facts about stone crabs
They were named by the Native Americans because their shells are so tough, a stone was used to crack them. Stone crabs are the only thing we take from the sea that we don’t kill. They regenerate their claws, in about a year. Stone crab season in Florida is only 7 months long, from October 15 to May 15. When you order stone crab claws in a restaurant they arrive already partially cracked. When you purchase stone crabs, they are sold to you cooked, they have to be. Some can have pockets of air in the claw that will yield less meat. Those with the air pockets are known as floaters and must be labeled as such so consumers know. They are often cheaper. Stone crabs generally come in four sizes, medium, large, jumbo and colossal and the price reflects the size.
Knowing that stone crabs are difficult to come by in other parts of the United States, this Key lime mustard dipping sauce would also be delicious with chicken tenders.
My blogger friends and I are sharing recipes for picnics today. The fact stone crabs can be served cold makes them perfect for a picnic. They are easily transported and, while you’re keeping the claws cold, you can just tuck the Key lime dipping sauce in the cooler too. Be sure to visit their recipes too.
Key Lime Mustard Dipping Sauce
- 4 Florida Key limes juiced
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the Key lime juice, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. Taste the mustard sauce and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Refrigerate to allow flavors to develop, at least 2 hours. Serve with Florida stone crab claws.